Addressing the press after the draw was announced, setting the opener match between Vietnam and Thailand on June 5, Thailand head coach Siriak Yodyardthai said they were determined to beat Vietnam.
“The game between Thailand and Vietnam will be very interesting. Vietnam may think that they are the number one team in Southeast Asia, but we are not afraid to face them,” Yodyardthai said.
“Our goal is not just to defeat Vietnam, but to take King’s Cup title this year and we’re strong enough to do it,” the coach said.
Thailand midfielder Sumanya Purisai said he believed that Vietnam have no chance of beating Thailand.
“Vietnam is a very strong team. But Thailand will thrash them in the game,” Purisai was quoted by Thai newspaper Siam Sports as saying.
On the official Twitter account of Thailand’s national football team, posters in the style of mega-blockbuster movie Avengers: Endgame have been put up. The poster shows Thai star footballer Chanathip Songkrasi and coach Yodyardthai with the words Rematch, Revenge and Return emblazoned across their pictures.
The Thai media have also drummed up anticipation for the game.
“Looking forward to see Thailand vs. Vietnam in the 47th King’s Cup,” Goal Thailand wrote on their website.
Thai news site True ID noted that Thailand will have to face the current champion of Southeast Asia and the strongest team in the region.
Another news site, Mthai, carried the headline: “Crush the golden stars! Thailand face Vietnam in King’s Cup”.
This will be the first time that Vietnam is playing Thailand at the national level under coach Park Hang-seo.
Thailand has been considered the best team in Southeast Asia for years. However, over the past two years, under coach Park Hang-seo’s guidance, Vietnam has taken over the number one spot in region with success in many tournaments, notably the AFF Cup 2018 and a top eight finish at the Asian Cup 2019.
On March 26, the Vietnam U23 team beat Thailand 4-0 to qualify for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship. At the U19 level, Vietnam also beat Thailand 1-0 to lift the International U19 title on March 30.
The last time Vietnam national football team and Thailand went head to head was in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in 2015, where Vietnam lost 0-3 at home.
In King’s Cup 2019, Vietnam will face hosts Thailand on June 5 at 3:30 p.m. while India will take on Curaçao at 7:45 p.m. (local time) the same day.
Winners of both matches will meet in the final on June 8, while the two eliminated teams will play a third place playoff match the same day. All four matches will take place in the northeastern province of Buriram in Thailand.