Coach Park confident Việt Nam will reach semi-finals despite goalless draw

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Coach Park Hang-seo at the press conference after the 0-0 draw with Indonesia. — Photo courtesy of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Despite the goalless draw against Indonesia, Coach Park Hang-seo remains confident about his side’s chances of reaching the semi-finals of the AFF Cup in Singapore.

He argues that his team isn’t under any pressure as a good result against Cambodia in the next match will be enough to secure a place in the next round.

Coach Park’s men knew that a win against Indonesia, their third match of the AFF Cup group stage on Wednesday evening, would take them through to the semi-finals at the top of their group.

However, the 0-0 draw threw a spanner in the works and means they will have to wait until Sunday when they face Cambodia to confirm their passage.

Despite the disappointing result, Coach Park insists that reaching the semi-finals is all but assured for the national team.

“Việt Nam will put everything into the match against Cambodia to reach the semi-finals,” Park said after the match.

“Indonesia or Malaysia haven’t ensured their slots in the semi-finals yet either. We are only in second place in Group B because of our goal difference with Indonesia.

“In the last match, Indonesia and Malaysia will face each other. Việt Nam will face Cambodia, so we will do our best to win the last game.”

Talking about the goalless draw against Indonesia, Park said that he was satisfied with the team performance despite the lack of goals, though he refused to criticise Indonesia for their safety-first approach.

“I think our players have fulfilled their role. It would have been better if they had scored, but everyone gave their best,” said the 64-year-old manager.

“I have no comment about Indonesia’s style of play. Sometimes we also have to play defensively, so we should not judge the opponent on how they play the ball.”

This latest draw continues a tradition, stretching back 25 years, of not being able to better Indonesia in the AFF Cup, despite many victories in tournaments such as the SEA Games and the World Cup qualifiers.

Both Việt Nam and Indonesia are in prime position to qualify for the semi-finals. They need at least a draw in their last match on Sunday, but Việt Nam’s task is somewhat easier as they face Cambodia, who are already eliminated. Indonesia will take on fierce rivals Malaysia, who are also in contention to advance. — VNS

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