Vietnam had fallen into an extremely difficult circumstance as they trailed two goals behind after the first 11 minutes. However, Park’s warriors fought back bravely to level the score with a brace from Tien Linh, thereby advancing to the last four with an amazing unbeaten run (four wins and one draw).
“Today, Vietnam again had a tough match, perhaps the toughest match of our group-stage campaign. But at least we earned a draw and booked a place in the semifinals,” Park told reporters after their 2-2 tie against Thailand on December 5.
“Similar to the Singapore clash earlier on Tuesday, Vietnam had a difficult first half as we conceded two straight goals. However, once again, the players showed a brave and resilient fighting spirit by not giving up and not surrendering to adversity.”
Tien Linh converts a penalty to seal a 2-2 draw for Vietnam during their last group match against Thailand on December 5.
Regarding the situation leading to the opening goal for Thailand, Park admitted that it was partly attributed to keeper Van Toan’s mistake. Yet, the Republic of Korea tactician did not blame his player and did not want to comment further on the performance of individuals.
“We will re-watch the video and draw experience. Despite committing a mistake, Van Toan, as I saw, also tried his best today,” Park stated.
Answering a query regarding the injury of midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai, Park said that the Vietnam captain is being actively treated by the team’s doctors.
“Perhaps Quang Hai is yet to be fit enough for the semifinal, but we hope he could return as Vietnam enter the final.”
With the 2-2 draw against Thailand, Vietnam concluded the group stage as the Group B winners. They will play Group A runners-up Cambodia in the semifinals on December 7.