Focused on Saturday’s match against Cambodia, Vienamese football coach says: “Now is not the time to think about the semifinals.”
Vietnam will play its last game of the group stage for the AFF Cup 2018 against Cambodia at home Saturday night.
“The game with Cambodia is the last game in the group stage. We have to give our best in order to take the top spot. Now is not the time to think about the semifinals. I’ve told the whole team to put their focus on tomorrow’s game,” head coach Park Hang-seo said.
“Cambodia has grown stronger under head coach Keisuke Honda’s lead. Therefore we need to respect our opponent, especially when there’s nothing assured for us,” he added.
Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai also agreed with the head coach that the team will have to give their best and not lower their guard.
“After three games, the players have improved physically and mentally. However, in football, nothing is assured. The game with Cambodia will not be easy. We have so stay focused to get our desired result. We cannot think about the semifinal just yet,” Hai said.
Meanwhile on Cambodia side, head coach Keisuke Honda will be absent tomorrow, because he still plays for an Australian club. Assistant coach Felix Dalmas will guide Cambodia instead, and he’s pretty confident ahead of the game.
“It’s good to face a strong team like Vietnam, and we hope to have a good game to end our AFF Cup journey. Vietnam is a quality team and it’s hard to tell who the best is. We have done some research and devised a suitable strategy for tomorrow’s game, but we’ll not go into details about that right now,” Dalmas said.
He said the strategy is given out by head coach Keisuke Honda, although he will not be there for the game.
Cambodia is already out of the tournament’s next stage, having lost two matches and won only one. Vietnam, on the other hand, only needs a draw with Cambodia to qualify for the semifinal, regardless of the result of the Malaysia-Myanmar match at the same time.
Vietnam can even secure the group’s top spot if they win against Cambodia and Myanmar draws or loses to Malaysia.
The game between Vietnam and Cambodia will be held at 7:30 p.m. on November 24, at the Hang Day Stadium in Hanoi. It will be reported live.