“Muangthong United are a leading football team of Thailand as they have so many national team players in the team. They have better international experience than us so the upcoming match will be very difficult. However, we aim to defeat the Thai team to take the title,” said coach Vo Dinh Tan at a press conference held in Hanoi on December 22.
Khanh Hoa, who finished sixth in the V.League 1 this year, have shown a series of impressive displays in their tournament debut thus far, beating Cambodia’s Boeungket Angkor 9-5 aggregate in the first round and then Lao Premier League champions, Lao Toyota FC 2-0 in the semi-final.
“The whole team tried their best and put in the effort during the past matches. Several players have been injured but we will overcome this before meeting the Thai team in the second leg,” Tan added.
Meanwhile, coach Tawan Sripan of Muangthong United, who finished second in the Thai Premier League this year, said he brought his best players to Vietnam. However, he is anxious as his team haven’t had the best preparation for this game, having only trained for four days ahead of the game.
The former Hoang Anh Gia Lai player said he watched videos of matches of Khanh Hoa and said they improved in each match and would be tough opponents for his team.
Khanh Hoa have had Youssouf Toure to thank for their progress thus far, with the French striker netting six goals in three tournament games.
To prepare for the finals, Khanh Hoa have signed defender Dao Van Phong from Quang Nam, who won the V.League title this year.
The 33-year-old former national footballer is one of the league’s top right-backs.
Phong, who was born in Khanh Hoa, is expected to help the coastal team shine on December 23.
The final’s first leg will take place at 6pm on December 23 at Hang Day Stadium, while the second leg will take place on January 6 next year in Thailand.