National squad return to training in preparation for AFF Cup semis

Monday, 2018-11-26 16:54:33
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Vietnam national football squad returned to training on November 26, in preparation for the upcoming two-leg semi-final against the Philippines. (Photo: news.zing.vn)
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NDO – The Vietnam national football team returned to training on November 26 after making their berth to the semi-final at the ongoing the ASEAN Federation Football (AFF) Championship - Suzuki Cup 2018.

>>> Vietnam to face the Philippines in AFF Cup semi-finals

>>> Vietnam’s journey to AFF Cup semi-finals: Convincing and pride worthy

Earlier, Vietnam thrashed Cambodia 3-0 in their final match in Group A at Hanoi's Hang Day Stadium on the evening of November 24, to top the group with 10 points after three victories and a draw, combined with a total clean sheet during the group stage.

After a full day of rest, the team had their first training in Hanoi this morning since winning the group stage and all the players are now in confident spirits, said midfielder Nguyen Phong Hong Duy, who assisted his teammate Nguyen Quang Hai in scoring Vietnam’s second goal against Cambodia.

In the semi-finals, coach Park Hang-seo will face Group B runners-up the Philippines, who are led by former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson. Hong Duy said his team are eager to play against such a famous coach and his players and will be devoted to the home fans.

Regarding their next opponents, the 1996-born midfielder said the team does not know much about them, but they will focus in each training session and carrying out more surveys.

Hong Duy (R) played impressively in the match against Cambodia. (Photo: AFF Suzuki Cup 2018)

Currently, 22 players in the squad are in good form, except for striker Nguyen Van Toan, who suffered a cartilage tear during his last training session. Substitute Toan scored a rebound goal in Vietnam’s third group match against Myanmar last Tuesday, but the goal was controversially ruled out due to offside. Dubbed as a “super-sub” in Park’s reign, the absence of Toan will create difficulties for the Korean coach in selecting the names for the attacking line-up as the tournament enters the upcoming tough phase.

Discussing his teammate’s injury, Hong Duy said it could take time to evaluate Van Toan's injury but the team are always ready to play.

As planned, the team will move to Ho Chi Minh City for further training as the hot weather in the south is similar to that in the Philippines, where the team will play the first leg of the semi-final match on December 2. However, due to the impact of Storm Usagi, long lasting heavy rains in HCM City have halted Park’s plan. The team will stay in Hanoi to practice until November 27, before departing for the Philippines to prepare for the important away match.

Coach Park Hang-seo (R) and his players are focused on training ahead of the AFF Cup semis. (Photo: news.zing.vn)

Vietnam will face Eriksson’s men in the first leg set at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod city on Sunday, before returning to Hanoi for the second leg at My Dinh Stadium four days later.

Tickets for the second leg semi-final match will only be sold online, announced the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) on Monday.

Fans can buy tickets at websites www.vebongdaonline.vn, www.vebongonline.com.vn, www.ticketonline.vff.org.vn, and www.vebongda.vff.org.vn.

Prices vary from VND200,000 (US$8.7) to VND500,000 (US$21.7), and each person can only buy once using their identity card, maximum four tickets. The buyers can receive their tickets via the Vietnam Post or get tickets at the VFF’s office on a fixed day.