Hanoi: Growing up as a child, Ha Duc Chinh always wanted to be a striker but the problem was that he struggled to score goals.

So much so that he earned the awkward nickname of the ‘wooden leg’ due to his lack of production but having risen to national prominence in the past couple of years that nickname is now long behind him.

Starring roles in the various national youth teams and a glut of goals at club level with Da Nang earned the 21-year-old forward a callup for his maiden AFF Suzuki Cup and he’s keen to show that he can be the man Vietnam depends on to get the goals to fire them into the final despite the pressure that comes with that role.

“Personally, I’m relaxed when I’m called up to the national team but even with pressure I can concentrate and play my best to get a good result and help the team as much as I can.”

Holding a 2-1 lead from last week’s first leg in Bacolod, Vietnam also have the benefit of playing in front of another sold-out crowd in Hanoi and it’s that incredible backing that Duc Chinh has pointed to as being a major boost for the Golden Stars.

“At the moment our team is very happy – we are preparing to play with the Philippines in the second match and we know that we will have a lot of fans at home and they are very important for our team and help us to fight and bring a good performance.”

Having taken a charter flight to return directly to Hanoi whilst the Philippines took a far longer route the hosts are also arguably fresher and they’re also fully aware of the strengths of the Azkals and how they can nullify them.

“The Philippines team is strong and like to play with long balls but I think because Vietnam won the first match 2-1 it is a positive point before the second match.

“We know though that we must be careful, concentrate and also make sure that we don’t concede and then I hope we can score in the second match.”