On Friday, January 13, Vietnam will play Thailand at the My Dinh National Stadium in the first leg of the AFF Championship final. Vietnam has reached its fourth AFF Championship final, rematching its 2008 title match against Thailand. In the group stage, the hosts had a near-perfect run, winning three games and drawing one to win Group B with ten points.
They easily defeated Indonesia 2-0 in the semifinals to advance to the final. The competition has been won twice by the Golden Star Warriors: against Malaysia in 2018 and 2008, respectively. The significance of the first leg was emphasized by Vietnam coach Park Hang-Seo.
Meanwhile, numerous experts predicted that Thailand would advance to the final prior to the tournament; here they are. With seven victories, the defending champions, who have qualified for their tenth AFF Championship final, continue to be the competition’s most successful team. Before beating Malaysia 3-1 in the semis, they also topped their group with ten points.
It’s not always easy for the War Elephants to fight Vietnam. The majority of their previous conflicts have resulted in deadlocks. Teerasil Dangda will try to finish the tournament with the most goals, having increased his total to six. However, the Golden Shoe is also in the sights of Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Linh, who has scored five goals.
The hosts will try to make the most of their advantage at home in order to take a comfortable lead into the second leg, which is already widely considered to be difficult. Coach Alexandre Polking will try to manage the pressure in Hanoi so that they don’t get into any bad situations that could stop them from doing well at home. Due to their advantage over the other team, Vietnam is expected to win by a small margin.
Prediction: Vietnam 2-1 Thailand
Both teams have won once each and drawn three times in their last five matches. During this time, Vietnam has only scored once against Thailand and given up twice. In their last five home games, the hosts have won all five.
In their last five away games, Thailand has won twice, drawn once, and lost twice. Thailand has won three times, drawn once, and lost once in its last five games, while Vietnam has won three times and drawn twice.
Form Guide: Vietnam – W-D-W-D-W; Thailand – W-L-W-D-W.
Dang Van Lam, Bui Tien Dung I, Do Duy Manh, Ho Tan Hai, Van Thanh Vu, Bui Hoang Viet Anh, Do Hung Dung, Nguyen Quang Hai, Phan Van Duc, Nguyen Tien Linh, Pham Tuan Hai
Saranon Anuin, Theerathon Bunmathan, Sasalak Haiprakhon, Suphanan Bureerat, Rueangthanarot Chatmongkol, Sumanya Purisay, Sarach Yooyen, Ekanit Panya, Pomphan Weerathep, Adisak Kraisorn, Bordin Phala
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