King’s Cup 2019: Vietnam not afraid of Thailand, says coach Park

By Bao Lam   June 5, 2019 | 12:16 pm GMT+7
King’s Cup 2019: Vietnam not afraid of Thailand, says coach Park
Coach Park Hang-seo speaks at a press conference ahead of King's Cup in Thailand, June 4, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Vietnamese coach Park Hang-seo sounded confident or defiant depending on your point of view ahead of the upcoming Thailand clash in the King’s Cup.

Park was asked at a conference on Tuesday if he stood by his statement that Vietnam were no longer afraid of Thailand, made after they beat the other 4-0 at a qualifier for the 2020 AFC U23 championship last March.

"Why do we have to be afraid of Thailand?" he replied. "No matter who the opponent is, they cannot scare us."

"I always tell my players that even when we have to face Japan or South Korea, we should be fearless.

"Thailand is a strong team, but Vietnam won the AFF Cup last year. The important thing is what we can learn, whether it’s a win or loss. We need to play to our full strength."

Park and captain Que Ngoc Hai were bombarded with questions about Thailand, whom Vietnamese consider their main rival in Southeast Asia, and both sounded upbeat, saying they were confident about facing Thailand or any other team, especially after Vietnam’s recent successes.

Vietnam won the AFF championship last December, the first time in 10 years.

Many players in the team were also in the U23 squad at the AFC U23 qualifiers more than two months ago.

Hai said: "I have played against Thailand in the SEA Games and at the national team level. They are one of the top teams in Southeast Asia and we respect them but we are not afraid. We will enter the field and play confidently. We are here to win."

Que Ngoc Hai, Vietnams captain at Kings Cup, speaks at a conference in Thailand, June 4, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Que Ngoc Hai, Vietnam's captain at King's Cup, speaks at a conference in Thailand, June 4, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Park also spoke about the difficulties Vietnam faced in participating in the tournament such as the long distance and the limited time for training.

The 2019 King’s Cup is not just a friendly tournament, it can also affect Vietnam’s 2022 World Cup qualification campaign. The results can affect Vietnam's FIFA ranking and decide which teams they have to face at the qualifiers.

The Vietnam-Thailand game kicks off at 7:45 p.m. (local time) today at the Chang Arena Stadium in Buriram Province. The match will be broadcast on VTC and VTV and reported live on VnExpress International.

India and Curacao, the other two teams in the tournament, will pay at 3 p.m. the same day. The two winners will meet for finale on June 8.

 
 
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