Bacolod: Heading away from home as they prepare to face the Philippines in Bacolod tomorrow the message from the Vietnam camp is clear: a win is the priority to take a major advantage with them for the return leg back to Hanoi next week.

Given that the Golden Stars are facing a home team that have been torn apart by injury and absences, Vietnam enter the first leg encounter in a strong position but for fullback Doan Van Hau the focus is only on ensuring they get the win.

“We try our best to play and win but scoring two, three or more goals depends on many issues in the game so we’re not worried by how many goals people expect us to win by.

“Of course at least we need a draw but if we are luckier then we will get the win and that will put us in a strong position.”


The 19-year-old is part of a wave of youth infusing Vietnamese football at the moment (with 15 of the squad aged 23 or younger) and believes that the bonds built by the younger generation have helped propel the nation into the semifinals for the third straight edition.

“We have a great spirit and all of us are focused for this match with a good mentality.

“Like the other young players it’s a real honour to become a national team player and when we go to Vietnam we’re very warmly welcomed and it makes me feel proud.”

With the massive expectation back home though comes a large degree of pressure and that means Van Hau knows his nation can’t afford to take the Azkals lightly, regardless of how many players they may be missing.

“The Philippines now is a very strong and a good team because they have many naturalised players.

I’ve heard that some players can’t join their team for this game but our team and our coach are well prepared for whoever will play and we will try our best to get a good result in this next game.”