Monday, December 01, 2014

Kim Swee turns spy in Hanoi

How Malaysia approach the AFF Cup semi-final first leg against Vietnam on Sunday will depend substantially on what national youth coach Ong Kim Swee reports back from his spying mission in Hanoi.

  Kim Swee watched five of six matches involving Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Laos and will brief national coach Dollah Salleh tomorrow on the Group A winners.

  Vietnam opened their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Indonesia before beating Laos 3-0 and Philippines 3-1 to emerge as one of the favourites for the title which they won in 2008.

  Kim Swee named strikers Nguyen Van Quyet and Le Cong Vinh, left-winger Pham Thanh Luong and defensive midfielder Ngo Hoang Thinh as the players to watch.

 ”Vietnam have developed a totally different style of play under their new Japanese coach (Toshiya Miura),” said Kim Swee yesterday.

 ”They are good in possession and never look to pass the ball back, always going forward. They also have good individual players and we have to be wary of their players taking shots from outside the box. They scored twice against Philippines from long-range.

  “What I saw was a very solid team in every department but of course they also have weaknesses. They conceded three goals and this is where I think we can capitalise on.”

  Vietnam have midfielder Vu Minh Tuan, who has scored twice, suspended for Sunday's first leg but Kim Swee does not believe that will make much of a difference.

  Malaysia also have captain Shukor Adan and attacker Amri Yahyah serving one-match mandatory suspensions after collecting yellow cards in Saturday's decisive 3-1 win over Singapore.

  Meanwhile, the venue for the first leg will only be decided tomorrow when the match organising committee meets.

  “We are having a look at the National Stadium pitch in Bukit Jalil today (yesterday),” said FA of Malaysia general secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin when met at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport yesterday following the national team's return from Singapore.

  “If the pitch is deemed unsuitable then the match will take place at the Shah Alam Stadium. But this will be decided on Tuesday’s meeting.”

  The National Stadium pitch came in for criticism after the Malaysia Cup final when the newly laid turf cut up badly during the 120 minutes of play.

  The national team have been given a day off and will report to Dollah for training tomorrow.


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