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Indonesia head coach wary of Vietnam's star midfielder in AFF Cup

By Lam Thoa   December 14, 2021 | 12:48 am PT
Coach Shin Tae-yong will consider Nguyen Quang Hai a threat when Indonesia play Vietnam in the AFF Cup group stage Wednesday.

"Quang Hai is a great player. His finishing is excellent and he has scored many goals. We will do our best to stop Hai in tomorrow’s game," Shin told an online press conference Tuesday.

In the Monday game against Malaysia, Hai opened the score for Vietnam with a thunderous one-touch strike. He also scored when Vietnam won 4-0 against Indonesia during the World Cup qualifiers this year.

Nguyen Quang Hai volleys the ball in the AFF Cup game between Vietnam and Malaysia on December 13, 2021. Photo by Leo Shengwei

Nguyen Quang Hai volleys the ball in the AFF Cup game between Vietnam and Malaysia on December 13, 2021. Photo by Leo Shengwei

Vietnam are on six points like Indonesia in group B. A victory will send Vietnam to the semifinals. For Indonesia, even if they win against Vietnam, there's no guarantee of advancing since they still have to face Malaysia, who also have six points, in the last game. According to the regulation of the tournament, if the teams have the same number of points, the head-to-head result will be taken into account to decide their positions.

Indonesia have lost all four matches they played against Park Hang-seo's Vietnam, including SEA Games 2019 and World Cup qualifiers. Before the game, coach Park challenged Indonesia to play attacking football.

"Maybe we will attack. Indonesia have a proper game plan for each opponent. We might not play like we did in the previous wins against Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam are the only Southeast Asian team that made it to the final round of World Cup qualifers. It's obvious they are the strongest in AFF Cup this year," Shin said.

However, Shin hopes the young players of Indonesia would play with courage and avoid making the same mistake as Malaysia when they lost 0-3 to Vietnam in the previous game.

"I hope the players will perform according to expectation. We will have to wait until the end to know the result," he said.

The match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (Hanoi time) and will be reported live on VnExpress International.

 
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