Malaysian media have highly assessed Vietnam after the reigning champions defeated Malaysia 3-0 in their match on December 12 at the ongoing AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 in Singapore.
In an article entitled “Vietnam check Malaysia's semi-final hope with 3-0 win”, Malaysian national news agency Bernama wrote that Malaysia's hope of booking an early ticket to the semi-finals suffered a setback when they were beaten by Vietnam in their Group B match.
“Malaysia were punished for failing to adapt quickly to the high-intensity match as Vietnam scored twice in a space of four minutes in the first half, before sealing the game with their third goal in the dying minutes of the match,” it continued.
The result also broke Malaysia’s unbeaten record in the group, following their wins over Cambodia and Laos in their first two matches.
The defeat in the hands of the defending champions pushed Malaysia to third place.
It is also Malaysia's sixth defeat in their last seven clashes with Vietnam and the fifth for coach Tan Cheng Hoe since taking charge of the national team in 2017.
In his article published in The Star newspaper, author T. Avineshwaran noted that “Harimau Malaya just can't find a way to douse the fire of the Golden Dragons”, and Malaysia suffered their first defeat in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020.
“The depleted Malaysian side could not stamp their mark in the first-half, as Park Hang-seo’s side were quick in their attacking transitions and were constantly tormenting Tan Cheng Hoe’s team with their superb pressing”.
Astro Awani television news channel reported that with a similar line-up in the game with Laos, Malaysia could not find a way past seasoned players of Vietnam.
To qualify for the semi-finals, Malaysia will have to beat Indonesia in their final group match on December 19, it said.