Mitsubishi Electric Cup

PREVIEW: Thailand vs Malaysia (Semi-final, 2nd leg)

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09 Jan 2023


Bangkok: After having lost for the first time since 2016 at the AFF Championship, Thailand will be aiming to bounce back against a confident Malaysian side that are looking to reach their second final in the past three editions.

With the first leg of the semi-final finishing 1-0 to Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Thailand's title defence goes on the line on the outskirts of Bangkok on Tuesday evening and coach Mano Polking has declared that the sold-out home crowd will see a dominant performance from his side.

"We played well in Malaysia and now it's a new game, we're aiming to perform the same as we did two days ago and looking to reverse the goal that we are trailing by.

"I'm not worried about how Malaysia will play because we have a clear target to reach the final and we're just focussing on what we can do and how we can play."

The title-winning coach from the previous edition also called for the game to be allowed to flow and said that any attempts from either side to slow the tempo of the match should be addressed.

"We want to play football and I'm sure that applies to both teams. I'm asking that if time is lost for whatever reason then that time should be added on as we saw in the World Cup.

"It's not me complaining and if we are winning by three or four goals and wasting time then I also expect that to be added on, I'm just asking that we be allowed to play football."

For Malaysia the equation is simple, knowing that a clean sheet will see them book a spot in the final.

With away goals also potentially coming into play though, coach Kim Pan-gon has claimed that the Harimau Malaya have planned for any possible scenario that may arise.

"We have a good advantage from the first leg but it's an away game and we're fully aware it will be tough however we are mentally and physically recovered, ready and confident.

"Depending on how the game develops we have a tactical plan and then if things change we have a second plan and if they change again we have a third - we are ready for any situation.

"When I was appointed as the coach of Malaysia I made it my target to win the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 and we are focussed on doing well and taking this win back to the people in Malaysia."

With a strong recent home record, where they've won four of their past five, Thailand will be looking to take maximum advantage of the capacity crowd at Thammasat Stadium but Malaysia have been strong on the road in recent times and will be hoping to build on the first leg lead and complete the task in the Thai capital.