Vietnam same team as three years ago: Malaysia defender

By Vy Anh   December 11, 2021 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnam same team as three years ago: Malaysia defender
Vietnam (L) play Malaysia in the World Cup qualifiers in the UAE, June, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Syahmi Safari does not see any change in Vietnam's style of play compared to 2018 when they won the AFF Cup title.

"Vietnam haven't changed tactically since 2018. They are still a disciplined team with a defensive line of five and still have a really quick transition from defense to attack," Safari told Malaysian newspaper Harian Metro on Friday.

Safari was one of Malaysia's key players in AFF Cup 2018. His main position is right-back but in this AFF Cup, he has grown used to left-back.

"We have to play disciplined to restrain Vietnam's offensive ability. I have played them four times in three years and I understand their strength. Malaysia need to avoid fouls and concentrate when facing Vietnam's quick players," Safari added.

Malaysia are on top of group B after two victories. If they defeat Vietnam on Sunday, the team would secure a place in the semifinals. But they haven't been able to do that for the past seven years. The last time Malaysia claimed victory over Vietnam was in AFF Cup 2014. Since then, they have lost five and drew one in six encounters with Vietnam.

In this AFF Cup, they only brought 24 players to Singapore. After entry, four of their players, including main striker Akhyar Rashid, couldn't play due to Covid-19.

The game between Vietnam and Malaysia will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Hanoi time) and will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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