Vietnamese players practise for the M-150 Cup in Thailand. They will play the hosts for bronze medal today. (Photo: VFF)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Coach Park Hang-seo of Vietnam and Zoran Jankovic of Thailand said winning a friendly tournament is not important but they want to win the third-place match on December 15 in Buriram.

The two teams suffered unexpected losses in their last group round match on December 13 although they both had a big chance to play in the final.

Park said he knew that Vietnam lost 0-3 to Thailand in the 29th Southeast Asian Games’ group round last August, but what he cared about was Vietnam’s performance on December 15.

He further said Vietnam’s target was the finals of the Asian U-23 Football Championship, so the result against Thailand was not important but a win would be good.

He said his players were well prepared to win and though they have lost to them, they were not afraid of them.

In the coming match, Park will not try a test line-up but select his best squad. They have been asked to play as a team with discipline and limit mistakes.

Captain Luong Xuan Truong also shared the point with his coach. He said Thailand have always been a big team in the region who are difficult to beat but Vietnam were ready.

Speaking to reporters at the press briefing on December 14, Jankovic said his team has prepared for the coming match like always.

Jankovic said he was disappointed with Thailand’s loss to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on December 13 but he may create chances for players who did not compete a single minute in this competition.

He said Vietnam was not stronger than Thailand. Either Vietnam or Uzbekistan was good for his team (to warm-up for the next event) but he preferred to play in the final (against Uzbekistan) and then the bronze-medal match (versus Vietnam).

The Serbian said like Vietnam, Thailand focused on the continental tournament next year. The M-150 Cup was an opportunity to improve their playing style.

Midfielder Ratthanakorn Maikami said the match against Vietnam would be interesting. It would be one of the final tests of his team before they leave for China’s Asian event.
Maikami said Vietnam was a potential rival but Thailand has defeated them in the past. Hence, there was no need to worry about Vietnam.

The match will kick-off at 4pm at the I-Mobile Stadium. The final between Uzbekistan and Japan will follow.-VNA