New Vietnam coach Kim Sang-sik wants payback with Indonesia

By Hieu Luong   May 22, 2024 | 12:00 am PT
New Vietnam coach Kim Sang-sik wants payback with Indonesia
Vietnam coach Kim Sang-sik answers questions from the press after the ASEAN Cup group stage draw in Hanoi on May 21, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Coach Kim Sang-sik is confident in facing Indonesia in group B of the 2024 ASEAN Cup, even though Vietnam continually suffered defeats against this opponent under the previous coach Philippe Troussier.

Indonesia are Vietnam's most formidable competitor in this group, which also includes the Philippines, Myanmar and Laos, according to the group draw on Tuesday.

In the last three encounters, Vietnam under Troussier lost 3-0 and 1-0 in the second qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup, and 1-0 in the group stage of the 2023 Asian Cup.

In the previous AFF Cup (now ASEAN Cup), Vietnam under coach Park Hang-seo drew 0-0 against Indonesia in the first leg of the semi-finals and beat them 2-0 in the second.

"If I prepare well from now, I think we can definitely play well against Indonesia," coach Kim said after the draw in Hanoi.

"We will make up for the previous games and try our best to win."

Coach Kim was appointed to replace Troussier in early May, with the minimum task of reaching the semi-finals and trying to reach the final of the 2024 ASEAN Cup. He emphasized many times that the team "must prepare right fom now" and at the same time admitted feeling nervous due to great expectations in Vietnam.

The South Korean coach also said he will try his best for Vietnamese football, the fans and will ask for advice from coach Park to create the best team possible.

"I will do a lot of research to find a plan to train the players. I want them to be a unified team and perform well to deserve praise from the fans," he added.

The 2024 ASEAN Cup group stage retains the format of two home and two away games for each team. Vietnam are among the first seeds, so they have the advantage of playing Indonesia at home on Nov. 30. Before that, the team will play Laos in the opening round on Nov. 24.

After that, Kim and his team will travel to the Philippines on Dec. 3, before hosting Myanmar in the final round on Dec. 7.

Besides Indonesia, Vietnam also have to pay attention to Philippines, led by Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet. Like Indonesia, Philippines are also planning to use more naturalized players.

Vietnam will play Philippines on June 6 in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and Kim said the match will be an opportunity to evaluate the opponent's strength.

"Our goal is to win the title, even though our opponents are not easy to beat," Kim said. "There is no opponent where we have absolutely no chance of winning."

The 2024 ASEAN Cup will take place from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21. This is the second time the tournament has changed its name, previously from Tiger Cup to AFF Cup.

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