Hanoi: Having progressed to the final of the AFF Suzuki Cup for the first time in a decade with a 4-2 aggregate win over Philippines, Vietnam are already focused on next week’s showdown with Malaysia.

There was just enough team for a brief celebration with the team inside the rooms at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi but once that was done the team’s focus immediately shifted to the two-legged final, according to goalkeeper Dang Van Lam.

“There’s no party or drinking for us, we’ve already had some fun inside the dressing room and now we’ll concentrate for the next match.

“Of course we are happy to reach the final and we had some very happy minutes inside the change-room but now we have to concentrate for the next game.”


After a tense opening hour in front of another raucous, sold-out, crowd in the capital second half goals from Nguyen Quang Hai and substitute Nguyen Cong Phuong eased Vietnam to a 2-1 win on the evening to book a date with a Malaysian side that Van Lam described as impressive.

“Malaysia is a really good team so it will be a nice final, we’ve already played with them in the group stage so we will wait to see how our coach will prepare the team for this match.”

That clash, back in the third round of group stage action, finished as a 2-0 win in Hanoi for the Golden Stars and was part of a remarkable run of defensive solidity that’s seen the team conceded just twice in six matches.

A major part of that success has been the towering custodian but he was harsh on his own showing, having seen James Younghusband grab an 89th minute consolation for the Azkals.

“I’m sad about conceding the goal in the last minute so I’ll try to be better in the next game but the important thing is that the team won and now we move on to focus on Malaysia.”