After being dropped from the starting XI in the first leg of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup final, Vietnam striker Nguyen Anh Duc has said that he will give his best if given a chance to play in the second leg on Saturday, December 15th.
The 33-year-old revealed that he was benched by coach Park Hang-seo for tactical reasons and he will give his best to make sure Vietnam finish as the AFF Suzuki Cup champions.
“I didn’t play in the first leg for tactical reasons from the coach, but even from the bench I could sense the excitement of the game in Malaysia. If I have the chance to play, I’ll do my best and all that I can with my teammates to make sure that we are champions.
“We know, though, that this match is different from when we faced Malaysia in the group stage and won 2-0. Malaysia need to score so they’ll play with a high motivation and spirit and so we need to make sure that we give them a lot of pressure,” Anh Duc said as quoted by AFF Suzuki Cup’s official website.
Instead of the veteran striker who has three goals to his name in the tournament, youngster Ha Duc Chinh was given the nod. However, he was guilty of missing some gilt-edged opportunities and fans were quick to single him out.
The 33-year-old was quick to jump in defence of his teammate, stating that now the first leg is done and dusted with, they need to look forward to the second match.
“Because this is the final all players feel stress, especially in an away match and I saw that after the game there was a lot of media and other comments about certain mistakes or chances missed by the strikers.
“As an older player it was my responsibility to help them and I told the other strikers not to think so much about the past. That match is already finished, and now we need to think about this second match.”
The second leg of the final which will be played at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi will see the hosts go in as the slightest of favourites, courtesy the two away goals Golden Dragons scored in the 2-2 draw against Malaysia in the first leg.