Vietnam have all to play for as Hanoi braced for semi-final decider
Vietnam face an almighty battle against Indonesia in the second leg of their AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final on Wednesday but their coach Nguyen Huu Thang is counting on home advantage to help see them through.
Trailing 2-1 after the first leg in Bogor on Saturday they will need to be at their very best at My Dinh Stadium.
“We are a strong side and we will have strong home support,” said Huu Thang.
“As we saw at the weekend, we know how good the Indonesian side are. They score a lot of goals but we are confident in our abilities. We have been playing well because we play as a team and that is what we will do tomorrow.”
Vietnam won the AFF Suzuki Cup on home soil in 2008 and after topping Group B this year with three wins they emerged as one of the favourites along with defending champions Thailand.
The setback in Indonesia surprised many but at what is essentially half time the match is still wide open.
“It is a high pressure match, a very big game. We can all feel the importance. For many it will be the biggest game of their careers. I think it is good the second leg is here in Hanoi,” added the Vietnam coach.
The Vietnam side will also be out to make amends for their surprise loss to Malaysia in the semi-final two years ago. They took the first leg in Kuala Lumpur 2-1 and were hot favourites to progress but the Malaysians recorded a stunning 4-2 victory at My Dinh stadium to the disbelief of the Vietnamese fans.
“The loss in 2014 is a dark cloud hanging over us but we now have a great chance to fix that,” said Huu Thang.
The game also sets up a fascinating match between the two coaches as Huu Thang played for Vietnam when Alfred Riedl was coach.
“I have known him for a long time and I have a lot of respect for him. He has put together a very good Indonesian side so tomorrow will be a great game.”