Việt Nam’s penalty miss makes the next match against Malaysia an “early final”

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Việt Nam national team coach Park Hang-seo was satisfied with the 2-0 win against Laos despite the penalty miss. He said he is considering the next against Malaysia as the “early final” of the 2021 AFF Suzuki Cup. — Photo courtesy of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam had a stuttering 2-0 win against Laos in Singapore on Monday night, but Vũ Văn Thanh’s penalty miss may cause the Golden Star Warriors difficulties as they compete for top spot in Group B.

Việt Nam and Malaysia both won their opening games in Group B by the same goal difference. However, Việt Nam ranks 2nd due to scoring one goal less than the opponent as Malaysia defeated Cambodia 3-1 in the earlier match.

The situation could have been totally different if the penalty had been converted.

After the match, coach Park was still satisfied with his team’s performance, saying he’d rather focus on the next matches including the most important match against Malaysia.

“The next match against Malaysia truly is the early final,” said Park.

“We have watched Malaysia play and we will have specific analysis and tactics for the upcoming match.

“We will do our best to help the team achieve the best position.”

Talking about the penalty, Park said that the decision came from Thanh’s desire to take the spotkick as there was no appointed penalty taker on the field that day.

“Before every match, there will be players assigned to take penalties. In this match, Lương Xuân Trường is the first penalty taker, then Nguyễn Tiến Linh,” said the 64-year-old manager.

“When we got the penalty, both Trường and Linh were not playing, while Thanh was confident to take charge, so that’s how the decision was made.”

Park’s men will next face Malaysia on Sunday, this is considered the “early final” of Group B when both teams are among the tournament favourites and have reached the final of the previous 2018 AFF Cup.

Previous results are supporting the Golden Star Warriors as Malaysia couldn’t win a single match against Việt Nam for seven years since the 4-2 victory at Mỹ Đình Stadium in the semi-final second leg of the 2014 AFF Cup. — VNS

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