EASIER FOR CHAMPS VIETNAM IN GROUP B
Hanoi, 15 Sep – Defending champions Vietnam have been placed in the easier Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 following the official draw ceremony this afternoon at the Sheraton Hotel here in Hanoi.
Hosts Vietnam, the winners two years ago at the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 when they beat Thailand in the final for their first ever ASEAN crown, are in Group B alongside Singapore, Myanmar and the runner-up team from the October qualifying round.
But as Vietnam chief coach Henrique Calisto said afterwards, it is important to learn from former world champions Italy and not get beyond themselves.
“We have to respect ourselves, respect our opponents and realised that no team is easy. Just look at what happened to Italy. They were champions four years ago in Germany but in South Africa, they cannot even win one game,” added Calisto.
“We are the champions and we can do it again but we have to look at it one game at a time. We have to think of our first match against Myanmar first rather than thinking whether we can beat Singapore in the third game. If we lose the first two matches, what is the point in beating Singapore?
“It is far important for me to have quality matches rather than stars in the game. We have to have discipline, work hard and tactics.”
The tougher Group A see hosts Indonesia up against Thailand, Malaysia and also the winner of the qualifying round.
Wolfgang Pikal, the assistant coach of the Indonesia national team said that the draw is interesting. “On paper, Group B is a little easier which makes our position in Group A being a lot harder,” added Wolfgang.
“We have new players in the team, so we are working hard to do better in front of our home fans. All teams are basically at the same level which means that the games will be quite close.”
K. Rajagobal, chief coach of Malaysia
“We respect all teams but as is common knowledge, things are not easy in football where there are a lot of factors which we have to take into account. We are taking each game as it comes and we fear no one.”
Myint Aung, chief coach of Myanmar
“The draw is fair and we will prepare our team as well as we can to make sure that we are competitive in all of our matches. Vietnam is very strong and as hosts, they will have the advantage. For us, we can only get our players together at the start of November after the Myanmar National League.”
AFF SUZUKI CUP 2010 FINAL ROUND GROUPINGS
Group A: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and winner, qualifying round
Group B: Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar and runner-up, qualifying round
AFF SUZUKI CUP 2010 QUALIFYING ROUND
Round-robin group: Laos, Cambodia, Timor Leste and Philippines
Article and images courtesy of Asean Football Organisation