AFF Cup final – chance for Vietnam, Malaysia to come to throne hinh anh 1Vietnamese and Malaysian players (Photo VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 final is a chance for Vietnam’s and Malaysia’s football to come to the throne in Southeast Asia for the second time in their history, according the international media.

John Duerden, Asia correspondent of ESPN - a US-based sports television channel, warned Vietnamese fans should be careful despite their team’s easy win of 2-0 over Malaysia in the group stage. 

He explained that Malaysia lost 1-5 to Indonesia in the opener of the 2010 tournament but they beat the same rivals 4-2 on aggregate in the final to lift the trophy for the first time.

Vietnamese players have plenty of techniques and ability under the lead of Korean coach Park Hang-seo, hence, they become “harder to beat and more pragmatic”, he wrote.

It is coach Park Hang-seo that inspires his students to win, Duerden wrote, adding that Park’s philosophy in football is to win.

Malaysian coach Tan Cheng Hoe, who was an assistant when Malaysia won in 2010, has the same philosophy. 

“He has been around long enough to know that a coach won't be around long without it in Southeast Asia - but he has injected new life into the Malaysian team,” Duerden wrote.

The boss has a young team playing with aggression and ambitions, he added.

“Malaysia is certainly well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of Vietnam as this is the second meeting between the two teams,” Duerden wrote. 

According to Semuanyabola – a football news website of Malaysia – provided notable statistics ahead the final first-leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 in Kuala Lumpur on December 11.

It said throughout 2018, Malaysia has never lost at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. 

Coach Tan Cheng Hoe and his students will take this advantage to ensure a comfortable outcome before the second-leg match in Hanoi on December 15. 

In 11 encounters over the past 10 years, Vietnam has won six while Malaysia has enjoyed victories three times with the last one at the AFF Cup 2014. 

Malaysian players should be careful with the attacks from Vietnamese rivals, Semuanyabola noted, describing it as a scary weapon of the “golden stars”.-VNA