Thailand’s Alexandre Polking will be out for the early goal as Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo calls for calm ahead of their pivotal tie of the second leg, semifinal 2 of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 tomorrow night at the National Stadium.
With Thailand holding a 2-0 advantage from the first leg a few days earlier, the odds are stacked against Vietnam if they can overcome the deficit.
Can Hang-seo come up with just the right tactical acumen to bring his team to their second final in two editions?
Or will Thailand do just enough in the game to coast to their ninth final appearance in the history of the championship?
“There’s no time for training (in the last two days), just for the players to recover. At 2-0, it is still dangerous. If they can score a goal, then they will start to believe and we may start to shake,” said Polking.
“We must play the way we know that we can and we must look for the early goal as that will give us the chance to confirm our place in the final.
“Tomorrow, it will be a game between two good teams with a clear strategy.”
Added midfielder Thanawat Suengchitthawon: “we played well in the first half, so we need to repeat it for the next match. We are still confident for a place in the final.”
In the meantime, Hang-seo realised only too well the burden of expectations on his shoulder as an expectant Vietnamese public clamour for their third ASEAN crown.
“It will definitely not be easy for the second leg,” said Hang-seo.
“But I told the players that they need to stay calm. They need to put in the effort, do their job, and try to score.
“It is not easy to predict how Thailand will play the game tomorrow. Attacking? Defensive? We just have to concentrate on our own game.”
Added midfielder Luong Xuan Truong: “sure it is not easy when we are down by two goals. But it is not impossible (to overcome it). Thailand played better in the first half. We were just unlucky in the second half.”
AFF SUZUKI CUP 2020
SEMIFINAL 2, Second Leg – National Stadium
26 December 2021
2030: Thailand (2) vs Vietnam (0)