Cheng Hoe: Vietnam are favourites
Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe reminded his team that their real test in the tournament is against Vietnam and not Thailand.
The Harimau Malaya were defeated 2-0 by Vietnam in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 and now they are set to face off again in the penultimate match.
And Cheng Hoe said Malaysia should be regarded as underdogs in the final, considering the fact that Vietnam are currently ranked 100 in the FIFA World Rankings.
“I’ve said from the beginning that Vietnam are favourites because it’s no coincidence that they are among the 100 best teams in the world.
“They have been outstanding in the last three, four years and they also qualified for the Asian Cup, along with Philippines. That is why I still consider us as underdogs,” he said.
Malaysia have made it to the finals four times before this – 1996, 2010, 2014 and 2018 – and won it once under coach K.Rajagopal.
For Cheng Hoe, this is a big challenge for himself after being appointed as the national coach.
“This is the biggest match for me thus far. We bounced back twice against Thailand and were fortunate that they missed a penalty in stoppage time.
“And after making it to the final, our goal now is to win it. It doesn’t mean that just because we defeated Thailand, we are going to win it. We need to stay focused and disciplined,” said Cheng Hoe.
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