Vietnam only need to win 1-0 to become AFF champion: coach Park

By Lam Thoa, Hieu Luong   January 13, 2023 | 09:07 am PT
Vietnam only need to win 1-0 to become AFF champion: coach Park
Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo at the post-match conference of the Vietnam-Thailand AFF Cup game on January 13, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Vietnam gaffer Park Hang-seo told fans not to be pessimistic after the AFF Cup final draw against Thailand on Friday night. "We need only one goal to become champions," he said.

"Of course, 2-2 is not a good score for Vietnam ahead of the second leg in Thailand, because of the away goal rule," Park said in the post-match press conference. "Thailand have the advantage, but that doesn’t mean we give up. We will try to win in Thailand."

The 66-year-old coach also apologized to fans for failing to win his last home game as the national team head coach. His contract expires on January 30.

"I want to thank the players, they tried until the last minute," Park added.

Park believed that poor positioning cost Vietnam two goals in the game.

"I haven’t watched the replay so I can’t go into detail," he said. "Perhaps the players were under pressure at home because they wanted to win, so some left their position. Of course, no player is perfect, and we have to improve this."

With the 2-2 draw in the first leg, Vietnam need to win against Thailand or draw 3-3 in the second leg to lift the trophy.

"We just need to win 1-0 in the second leg," Park continued. "I don’t know why people have to be so pessimistic. The team will try their best in the next game."

Vietnam started the game with confidence and scored with a Nguyen Tien Linh header in the 25th minute. However, Vietnam then paid the price for defensive mistakes and conceded two goals at the start of the second half.

Thailand star Theerathon assisted both goals.

But Vietnam managed to equalize with a thunderous strike by substitution Vu Van Thanh in the 88th minute.

After three encounters at the national team level, Park still hasn’t won against Thailand coach Mano Polking. "Polking might be better, but I’m not too far behind," Park added.

This is Park’s last home game with Vietnam.

When asked about his best memory here, he said: "I have been through many tournaments and made many friends over the past five years. I also received support and encouragement from the fans. I will always keep that in my heart as a beautiful memory."

AFF Cup final first leg: Vietnam 2-2 Thailand

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