International media highlight Vietnam’s AFF Cup win over Philippines

Vietnam have widely opened the door to the final match of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup following their 2-1 semifinal first leg win over the Philippines on December 2. Shortly after the match concluded, many international news agencies published articles highlighting the convincing triumph of Park Hang-seo’s side.

Van Duc and Anh Duc, the two heroes of Park Hang-seo's side during the semifinal first leg at the Philippines. (Photo:
Van Duc and Anh Duc, the two heroes of Park Hang-seo's side during the semifinal first leg at the Philippines. (Photo:

“Vietnam take control of Suzuki Cup semi” was the title that Paris-based AFP chose to write about Vietnam’s performance at Bacolod’s Panaad Stadium.

According to the author, by claiming an away victory, Vietnam have “put themselves in a strong position to reach their first AFF Suzuki Cup final in a decade”.

In its coverage, Reuters emphasised that Vietnam beat the Philippines to hand coach Sven-Goran Eriksson his first defeat.

It reported that Eriksson had won two and drawn two of his first four games in charge of the Philippines national squad, but the accurate finishes by Anh Duc and Van Duc gifted Park Hang-seo a convincing win and forced the former English manager, Eriksson, to suffer his first defeat as Philippines head coach.

Vietnam’s impressive triumph on Dec. 2 also won praise from the domestic media in the Philippines.

Tiebreaker Times said that Eriksson’s troops will have to “climb a mountain if they want to clinch a maiden appearance in the final”.

“Vietnam was simply a class above the Philippines,” it said when covering the failure of the home side.

“Eriksson’s men suffered a rude awakening in the match thanks to the away side’s aggression. Vietnam’s forwards sought to get in behind the Philippine defense and relentlessly pressed the home side’s backline,” Tiebreaker Times commented on the way both teams started the match.

Rappler, another Philippine news agency, also predicted difficulties for Eriksson’s side in the return leg.

“Vietnam get the upper hand after the semifinal first leg, and the Philippines will need a miracle in Hanoi, at least a 2-0 victory, to book their first-ever place in the final match of the regional tournament,” it said.