As the curtain draws on another instalment of the AFF Championship, the stage is phối for a grand finale of epic proportions. After a gruelling chiến dịch of pulsating action, the tournament has reached its crescendo, with two of the ASEAN region's most formidable sides phối to lớn collide in a much anticipated second-leg final.
The War Elephants look to lớn defend their title, while the Golden Star Warriors aim to lớn dethrone the reigning champions and lift the coveted trophy for the third time in their history.
The first leg, which took place at My Dinh National Stadium, ended in a pulsating 2-2 draw, with both teams displaying their attacking prowess and fighting spirit. Thailand, however, has the advantage of two away goals, which could prove to lớn be crucial in the final outcome of the match.
Thailand, who have won the competition six times, will be eager to lớn retain their title and etch their name in the history books once again. The War Elephants have been in scintillating sườn throughout the tournament, displaying a brand of football that is both fluid and effective. Theerathon Bunmathan and Sarach Yooyen will be key figures in Thailand's midfield, while Teerasil Dangda and Adisak Kraisorn will be a constant threat to lớn the Vietnamese defence.
On the other hand, Vietnam, who have won the competition twice, will be determined to lớn upset the odds and lift the trophy for the third time in their history. The Golden Star Warriors have been impressive throughout the tournament, displaying a never-say-die attitude and a relentless spirit.
With six goals, Tien Linh is currently tied as the joint top scorer in the tournament, alongside Thailand's Teerasil Dangda. With the golden boot award up for grabs, both forwards will undoubtedly be eager to lớn add to lớn their goal tally and secure the award.
The match will also be the final game for Vietnam's head coach Park Hang-seo, who has had a successful tenure with the team and will be eager to lớn sign off on a high note and guide his team to lớn glory.
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Teerasil Dangda was seen doing light jogging and stretching drills separate to lớn the main squad on the eve of kick-off. His availability for the match remains a question mark, and a final decision on his participation will likely be made closer to lớn kick-off.
On the other hand, Vietnam's squad is reported to lớn be fully fit, and they are expected to lớn field their strongest XI. This means that head coach Park Hang-seo will have a full complement of players to lớn choose from, as he looks to lớn guide his team to lớn glory in his final match in charge.
Predicted Thailand starting XI: Kampol Pathomakkakul; Sasalak Haiprakhon, Weerathep Pomphan, Pansa Hemviboon, Kritsada Kaman, Suphanan Bureerat; Sarach Yooyen, Theerathon Bunmathan, Peeradon Chamratsamee; Adisak Kraisorn, Teerasil Dangda.
Predicted Vietnam starting XI: Van Lâm; Van Hau, Bui Dung, Ngoc Hai, Duy Manh, Van Thanh; Quang Ha, Hoang Duc, Hung Dung; Tien Linh, Tuan Hai.
What the coaches said
“I promise you one thing, we are not going to lớn simply try and defend because we know how dangerous it can be to lớn play for a draw.
“We are here to lớn play our game, to lớn build on what we did well in the first match and to lớn win.
“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 lớn playing away games in Thailand and beating them.
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“I think Thailand also don’t consider they have the advantage and it will be a beautiful game that we can both enjoy.
“Thailand will not be happy with a draw, I’m sure they will play attacking football.
“I was surprised that they played with three central defenders, maybe because of the pressure of playing an away game, but I hope that they will go back to lớn two central defenders and play attacking football which we are also going to lớn tự.”