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Indonesia, Thailand favorites in SEA Games football: ESPN expert

By Xuan Binh   May 5, 2022 | 10:47 pm PT
Indonesia, Thailand favorites in SEA Games football: ESPN expert
Vietnam (red) play Indonesia in the 2022 World Cup qualification in June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Indonesia and Thailand are bringing very strong teams to the SEA Games football event and are favorites ahead of hosts Vietnam, Gabe Tan of ESPN has said.

"Indonesia are very strong and have the strongest team at the SEA Games."

They have many of the key players who took Indonesia to the 2020 AFF Cup final against Thailand while Vietnam, the defending champions, were eliminated by the Thais in the semifinal.

Tan said what Indonesia need is consistency, the lack of which in the past prevented them from being high achievers.

"Indonesia have an amazing opportunity to win the title. Thailand, however, are the top gold medal contenders."

Vietnam are also contenders, he said: "One of the three will win the men's football gold medal."

In the SEA Games 2019 final, Vietnam beat Indonesia 3-0 to win gold.

The two teams play on Friday in their first group match.

Tan said both teams are balanced, but Indonesia are more experienced.

In the SEA Games teams can only have three players aged above 23. Tan said Vietnam's selection for the three players, midfielders Nguyen Hoang Duc and Do Hung Dung and striker Nguyen Tien Linh, are "smart choice."

"No striker in this tournament has established such a reputation as Tien Linh, and I believe he will play a very important role," Tan said of the player who was a key part in Vietnam's 2022 World Cup qualification campaign.

The Vietnam and Indonesia match will be played at 7 p.m. and reported live on VnExpress International.

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