Playing Vietnam doesn't make ASEAN Cup group stage tough: CNN Indonesia

By Hoang An   May 23, 2024 | 01:45 am PT
Playing Vietnam doesn't make ASEAN Cup group stage tough: CNN Indonesia
Striker Ramadhan Sananta (number 9) celebrates the goal that sealed Indonesia's 3-0 victory over Vietnam at My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi, in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on March 26, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
CNN Indonesia said that Vietnam won't be a challenge for their national football team in the 2024 ASEAN Cup, formerly AFF Cup, group stage.

"In the past, Indonesian fans were worried every time their national team had to meet Vietnam, because this opponent often dominated," CNN Indonesia wrote.

"But everything has changed now and Indonesia are no longer afraid of being in the same group as Vietnam."

After the group stage draw on Tuesday, many Vietnamese newspapers said that coach Kim Sang-sik's team were placed in the "group of death," with Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar and Laos.

"In fact, group A is even more difficult, with Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore who were all AFF Cup winners. Therefore, the 'group of death' must be group A, not group B."

According to the author of the CNN Indonesia article, Abdul Susila, the fact that he does not consider group B as the "group of death" does not mean he underestimated the opponents, but that the mindset of Indonesia have changed.

"Indonesia are no longer a team that always lose or have no chance of winning the title. On the other hand, the team are considered a strong contender to lift the 2024 ASEAN Cup trophy," he added.

Susila also explained that Vietnamese media was "afraid" of their team being in the same group as Indonesia because they had just lost three consecutive matches in the group stage of the 2023 Asian Cup and the second qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup.

However, CNN Indonesia also pointed out obstacles for Shin Tae-yong and his team, especially the issue of personnel.

The 2024 ASEAN Cup takes place from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21, which is not on the FIFA calendar, so clubs have the right to keep players and not release them to the national team.

The Indonesian national football championship Liga 1 still takes place within the month of the ASEAN Cup, so Susila called on the Football Association of Indonesia and the league organizers to create favorable conditions for the national team.

"Pausing Liga 1 for a month is an option like we did at the 2023 Asian Cup," he wrote.

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