It will be a clash of two of the most attack-minded teams in the competition this year and the final of the AFF Under-23 Championship 2022 tomorrow night between Thailand and Vietnam will certainly be an eagerly anticipated event.
While Thailand will be out to add a second crown to the one they won at the inaugural edition in 2005, Vietnam will be eager to join the winners’ circle after coming in third in 2019.
“To win tomorrow is a dream, not an obsession. This team is being prepared for the future,” said Thailand head coach Salvador Garcia.
“If we win, it’s ok. If we do not, no worries. We have other tournaments to win in the future.
“Vietnam in the last game was a different team than the one we played against (in the group stage). We have analysed the new players and their profile, so we know how to prepare against them.”
And while Thailand need not go through the drama of extra time and then the dreaded penalty shootout in their semifinal tie against Laos, Vietnam had to endure 120 minutes of hard work before they were able to overcome Timor Leste from the spot.
“It is a little disadvantage for us that we had to play 120 minutes in the semifinals, but the focus is now purely on the players and for the final,” said Vietnam head coach Dinh The Nam.
“Thailand is a strong team so we have to prepare well.
“The most important factor for us at the moment is the spirit and the attitude of the players. We are all together in this. We had some difficulties before coming here and that has brought us together. So we will all be in it together for the final match.”
AFF U23 CHAMPIONSHIP 2022
FIXTURES – Morodok Techo National Stadium
26 February 2022
1600hrs (3rd & 4th): Laos vs Timor Leste
1930hrs (FINAL): Thailand vs Vietnam
Pictures Courtesy @Sportfive