According to the organising committee, nearly 90,000 tickets for the upcoming match at Malaysia’s home field have been sold out, triggering predictions that the enthusiasm of the home fans from the stands will cause huge pressure on the Vietnamese side.
Despite admitting that fact, Park said he and his troops have already gotten used to playing at crowded stadiums, stating that he knows how to transmit composure to the players for tomorrow’s away game.
“I have sent a message to my players concerning the difficulties faced at such a stadium with huge pressure as Bukit Jalil, but they have grown so familiar with this issue. I have advised the players and have many ways to help them keep calm at critical moments. My players are brave and qualified enough to play big matches”.
The Republic of Korea tactician revealed that Vietnam have made active preparations for the first leg of the final and the coaching staff have also analysed the Malaysian opponents through match videos. “My side are training hard and watch videos of Malaysia’s previous matches. We use them as a basis to prepare reasonable tactics for the upcoming encounter”.
Talking about the strength of Vietnam’s final opponents, Park said Malaysia will make adjustments in terms of their playing style compared to the group-stage meeting between the two teams, warning the Vietnamese players to maintain a high level of concentration throughout the entire clash.
“There are no doubts that Malaysia have become much stronger compared to the group stage. They have thoroughly investigated our strong and weak points and will surely make the necessary adjustments. Therefore, Vietnam will have to maintain optimal concentration during the match at Bukit Jalil,” the 59-year-old tactician stated.
Park said he puts great faith in Vietnam’s defensive line and plans to not make any adjustments to these positions. “The Vietnamese players are experienced enough to play such matches as this. I will not make many changes to the defensive line, as the defenders have shown stability since the beginning of the tournament”.
He requested that the organisers take measures to prevent laser beams that could be shone on the Vietnamese players from the Malaysian stands, which has occurred a number of times in the past.
For his part, Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe hailed the semifinal victory against heavyweights Thailand as a big boost to their confidence heading into tomorrow’s home game. “We played a good match in Bangkok. The entire team maintained their fighting flame during the two semifinal clashes and are quite deserving to advance to the title match. We will continue to demonstrate our impressive form against Vietnam”.
Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe said the home side will play offensively during the final first leg at Bukit Jalil Stadium.
He highly appreciated the quality of the Vietnamese squad, but hailed the support of the Malaysian fans as a big advantage for his side. “Vietnam are a strong team with many outstanding players, but Bukit Jalil is not an easy stage for the young Vietnamese players. We have drawn valuable lessons after the 0-2 loss at My Dinh Stadium in the group stage.”
Tan Cheng Hoe affirmed that he would direct his troops to play offensively during the first leg on Dec 11.
“Malaysia will play offensively on their home turf, but should be aware of Vietnam’s counterattacks. Vietnam have maintained an impressive unbeaten run thus far and they have played brilliantly during the entire tournament. It promises to be a tough match for Malaysia, but we are well-prepared”.
The 2018 AFF Cup final first leg between Vietnam and Malaysia is scheduled to take place at Bukit Jalil Stadium at 7.45pm on December 11. Inspired by a 2-0 group stage triumph against Tan Cheng Hoe’s side, Park Hang-seo’s troops are expected to continue playing a brilliant game tomorrow to seize the advantage heading into the return fixture at My Dinh Stadium on Dec 15.
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