Vietnamese in Thailand expect AFF Cup victory as parting gift for Coach Park

By Trung Nhan   January 16, 2023 | 12:40 am PT
Vietnamese in Thailand expect AFF Cup victory as parting gift for Coach Park
Vietnamese fans showcase banners to support the national team and coach Park Hang-seo during the Vietnam-Thailand AFF Cup final first leg in Hanoi's My Dinh Stadium, January 13, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Vietnamese in Thailand have high hopes that Vietnam will triumph over Thailand in the AFF Cup final on Monday, a fitting parting gift for Coach Park Hang-seo.

"I believe Vietnam will win the championship with a one goal difference in the second leg," said Nhat Thieu, a 30-year-old employee at a Vietnamese firm in Bangkok. "Thailand will be on the offense, their usual playstyle, but it will also be a chance for Vietnam to showcase their defensive skills and counterattack plays."

The final match will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Thieu said the first leg of the AFF Cup final, which happened Friday last week, was truly exciting, ending with a 2-2 tie. However, he said he was a bit disappointed to see Vietnam letting Thailand score.

Thieu said the Monday night match would be a challenging one for Vietnam, as Thailand have a slight edge when it comes to skills, and they will be playing on their home turf.

"Thailand have a stable mindset, and they always seem to be confident whenever they face off against Vietnam. They are more coordinated, elegant," he said, adding that Vietnam seemed to lack a bit of coordination during the first leg, and made some regrettable mistakes.

Thieu said he was most worried about the fact that Vietnam would have to face pressure from around 25,000 spectators at Thamasat Stadium. Nevertheless, he has faith that Vietnam will prevail.

"I hope Vietnam will win with a 2-1 score," he said.

Huyen Tam, 20, a student at Bangkok University, said she has been following Vietnam's journey throughout this year's AFF Cup, and she does not feel as confident as she was when Vietnam won the championship in 2018. She said she hopes Vietnam will make appropriate adjustments to secure victory Monday night.

Tam said she and her friends would take the bus from the Bangkok University to the stadium early so they can see the bus carrying all the Vietnamese players to the field. She said buying tickets directly was difficult, so her group had to resort to social media to secure them at around ฿770 ($23.33) for tickets on the side of the field for fans of the Vietnamese team.

AFF Cup organizers said there were about 20,000 tickets sold online, which sold out within five minutes. Ticket prices range from around ฿250 to ฿770.

The final match on Monday will also see a large number of Vietnamese fans coming to Thailand to support the national team.

Vu Minh, 28, who used to work in Thailand, said he bought tickets early and formed a group to travel to Thailand and support Vietnam’s team. They decided to meet in Bangkok before traveling to the Thammasat Stadium together.

Monday’s final match will be the last football match where Park Hang-seo is the head coach of Vietnam’s national men’s football team. The team have been under Park’s tutelage for the last five years.

"One of the reasons why I and everyone were so enthusiastic to go to Thailand and watch the match is because this would be a goodbye match for Park as the head coach of the national team," Minh said.

go to top