Vietnam will face Malaysia at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi, on November 16 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - The upcoming Group A match with Malaysia in the ASEAN Federation Football (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2018 will be a tough test for Vietnam, according to Vietnamese striker Nguyen Anh Duc.

The match will be held at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium on November 16.

Duc said the Malaysian players have good skills and better physical strength than Vietnam, so Vietnam will be very careful.

Malaysia and Vietnam are two candidates to top the qualifying round. Vietnam currently sits third in the group with three points, while Malaysia is top with six. But Vietnam has only played one match – a 3-0 win against Laos – while Malaysia played twice, beating Cambodia 1-0 and Laos 3-1.

Duc, who plays at the club level for Becamex Binh Duong, scored a goal in the match with Laos in Vientiane. He was named one five of the most impressive performers from the opening round of matches by foxsportsasia.com.

Amidst the fluidity of Vietnam’s attacking play, the 1.82m Duc provides a focal point and will be hoping to put away the many chances that are bound to fall his way throughout the tournament.

At the AFF Cup 2014, under the guidance of Japanese coach Toshya Miura, Vietnam beat Malaysia 2-1 away but lost 2-4 at My Dinh Stadium.

“Malaysia is a strong team physically and technically,” said expert Doan Minh Xuong. “Vietnam should not rush its play. Malaysia may try to play by erasing their rival’s strengths. Suitable tactics could lead to a Vietnamese win.”

Vietnam is training hard in Hanoi to prepare for the game. Captain Nguyen Van Quyet and midfielder Nguyen Tien Dung have recovered from their light injuries and are training with their teammates.

“We need to prepare carefully in terms of psychology and tactics,” said Vietnam’s head coach Park Hang-seo. “We need to control the ball better than in the match with Laos,”

Park told the-afc.com that he does not have much information about Malaysia but still needs to take three points from the match. With Malaysia three points ahead of Vietnam in the group, Park said his team must win the match to keep pace.

He also said that excitement surrounding the AFF event is increasing. Each match will be difficult, and the match with Malaysia will feel like a final.

The Vietnam Football Federation worked with the Hanoi Police and My Dinh Stadium’s organising board to ensure security for the match. The organising board will prevent fans from bringing flares into the stadium.

Vietnam is seeking their second AFF Cup title after emerging champions in 2008.-VNA