Thailand head coach Akira Nishino has taken a dig at Vietnam players for their time-wasting tactics during their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers meeting last month.
Thailand and Vietnam had met at the Thammasat Stadium on September 5 and the two teams played out a goalless draw. They will once again meet in a potential top-of-the-table clash at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on November 19.
Thailand and Vietnam have seven points in Group G of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round while early favourites United Arab Emirates (UAE) are third with six points.
THAILAND 0 – 0 VIETNAM: Spurned chances & mutual respect
And following October’s qualification fixture that saw the War Elephants defeat UAE 2-1, Nishino hit out at the ‘time-wasting tactics’ deployed by Park Hang-seo’s Vietnam during the World Cup Qualifiers opener.
The incident that irked the former Japan national team boss took place in the 86th minute when Consadole Sapporo star Chanathip Songkrasin fouled Vietnam defender Bui Tien Dung and the centre-back stayed down on the pitch for more time than that pleased Nishino.
“It happened right in front of me and I thought the Vietnam player intentionally laid down to delay the match. So I said some bad words in Japanese, and told him to stand up quickly to continue the match,” Nishino told Thai news outlet DailyNews (via VOV World).
“As I see it, in some countries with a low or average football level, the real time of a match is less than 90 minutes. They really only play in 50-60 minutes. In a more developed countries, players make every effort to reach a good outcome,” the Thailand boss said.
“But here, I could not understand their style. Football will not improve if there are many unprofessional players like that,” he added.