“Beating Thailand holds no special significance for Vietnamese football, because playing any opponents, we must fight our best and claim victory by promoting the spirit of Vietnamese solidarity,” head coach Park Hang-seo spoke to the media shortly after his Vietnamese side beat Thailand 1-0 in their King’s Cup encounter in Buriram on the night of June 5.
The match proceeded fiercely, with both sides missing a number of opportunities to open the scoring. It was not until the last minute of stoppage-time that veteran striker Nguyen Anh Duc headed home a late winner to secure a nail-biting triumph for the Golden Dragons.
Addressing the press conference after the clash, Park Hang-seo said: “King’s Cup is a long-standing traditional tournament, so it is of great pride for Vietnam to defeat the host team in this playground”.
He praised the unceasing attempts made by the Vietnamese players throughout the 90 minutes at Chang Arena.
“With strong determination, the whole team claimed a thrilling victory with just a few seconds left to play. I would like to thank my players for their concerted efforts during the match,” the 60-year-old tactician stated.
The 1-0 win on Thailand’s home field at the national team level has worked to affirm the no. 1 position of Vietnamese football in Southeast Asia. Previously, Vietnam also demolished Thailand with four unanswered goals in the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers. Remarking on this, Park frankly admitted: “Vietnam were crowned the AFF Cup champions last year and will remain the champions until the next AFF Cup version is held in 2020. However, in order to defend the Southeast Asian reign, my players have to try and work harder”.
Despite the victory, he still kept the Vietnamese players’ feet on the ground.
“I think the Vietnamese squad have yet to show a high level of stability. Thailand will remain a strong team in the time ahead. I believe that both Vietnam and Thailand will continue competing against each other for mutual development,” Park concluded.
Vietnam will play the King’s Cup final match against Curacao, who trounced India 3-1, on the evening of June 8, while hosts Thailand and India will meet in a third-place match earlier the same day.