SEA Games 31: Coaches play mind games ahead of Vietnam vs Thailand final match
|SEA Games 31: Coaches play mind games ahead of Viet Nam vs Thailand final match.|
In the under-23 level, Viet Nam is on a five-game undefeated streak against Thailand, with the War Elephants' last victory occurring in 2015. Last time the teams met, Viet Nam won 1-0 through a Tran Bao Toan header.
Both teams went through gruelling semi-finals that included extra time, with Thailand winning against Indonesia through Weerathep Pomphan's goal and Viet Nam needing a towering header from Nguyen Tien Linh in the 111th minute to see off Malaysia.
"Viet Nam has a lot of advantages on their hands, with 40,000 fans on their side," said Thailand head coach Mano Polking. "Thailand is the underdog, but we are a hard-to-deal-with underdog since my players and I are determined to win this.
"There is no difference whatsoever about the fitness level of both teams since our opponents went through 120 minutes of play also."
For his part, Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo said: "We are one match away from the gold medal. This pressures the players very much. But that's a challenge they have to overcome. Thailand is perfect, with great players playing in the backbone of their system. Viet Nam need to concentrate on defence to overcome that."
This is Viet Nam's and Thailand's fifth meeting in the final of the SEA Games, but the first in 18 years. Thailand won all four of the previous finals.