The Golden Stars Warriors head into the decisive match knowing they must face a tough task to be crowned winners.
With the two teams having tied 2-2 in the first leg three days ago, Park’s troops must win or achieve a 3-3 draw at Thammasat to lift the trophy.
Meanwhile, Thailand hold a bigger advantage over the Vietnamese team as they only need to keep a clean sheet or manage a 1-1 draw tonight to become the overall champions, thanks to the away goals rule.
After the final first leg, coach Park Hang-seo stated that Vietnam would beat the Thais 1-0 when they meet again at Thammasat. This task is quite feasible as the Golden Star Warriors have previously defeated Thailand away twice (AFF Cup 2009, King’s Cup 2019).
The Vietnamese team are not afraid of the Thai opponents at all, but Park’s troops must draw lessons from the clash at the My Dinh Stadium to get well-prepared for the return leg, which is forecast to be much tenser.
In fact, it is a reasonable calculation that Park and his players are aiming towards a 1-0 victory, because the 3-3 or 4-4 draw scenarios in the second leg are very difficult to achieve. On the other hand, if the match ends in a 2-2 stalemate, the result will have to be decided through extra time and maybe an aleatory penalty shootout.
In the first leg, the Vietnamese side revealed significant errors in defence. They will need to learn from that experience to avoid unnecessary mistakes when playing against the Thais tonight, because there will be no more chance for them to fix such mistakes.
The final second leg will kick off at 7.30pm and promises to be full of thrills as both teams wish to finish the match within the 90 minutes.
A victory over Thailand will be a perfect farewell gift from the Vietnamese team for head coach Park Hang-seo.
Ahead of the decisive clash, Park Hang-seo and his Vietnamese players have demonstrated strong confidence and determination. The Republic of Korean coach said he feels neither side has a clear edge after the first leg draw.
“Some people may think the result from the first match is a disadvantage, but we are confident knowing that we must win and actually we are used to playing Thailand in away games and beating them.”
“I think Thailand don't consider themselves as having the advantage either and it will be a beautiful game that we can both enjoy.”
Meanwhile, Thailand coach Mano Polking also ruled out a cautious approach in the second leg of the AFF Cup 2022 final against arch-rivals Vietnam at Thammasat Stadium.
At a pre-match press conference, he shared that the Thais would be sticking to the style that has served them so well during the course of the tournament. “We are a team who don't play for a draw,” said the Brazilian-German coach.
Tonight’s clash at Thammasat will be the last match for Park Hang-seo as the head coach of the Vietnamese national team. Undoubtedly, the entire team will fight its best to secure a victory and the overall trophy, which would be a perfect farewell gift for the Republic of Korean tactician, especially following the significant milestones he has achieved with Vietnamese football in the last five years.
The predicted starting lineup:
Vietnam: Van Lam, Thanh Chung, Ngoc Hai, Tien Dung, Van Hau, Tan Tai, Hoang Duc, Hung Dung, Quang Hai, Tuan Hai, Tien Linh.
Thailand: Phoothawcheuk, Haiprakhon, Bunmathan, Hemviboon, Kraison Adisak, Teerasil Dangda, Bordin Phala, Sumanya Purisai, Kaman, Ekanit Panya, Suphanan Berrerat.