Philippines coach Michael Weiss was beaming after his team’s victory over Vietnam in the AFF Suzuki Cup Group A game at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium.
The German paid tribute to his players for completing their task with plenty of dedication and determination.
“Congratulations to my team, they played like lions and warriors. We had to put on a good performance against a team that conceded us nothing,” he told reporters at the post-match press conference.
The introduction of Angel Guirado and Emelio Caligdog proved to be decisive in the end, as the duo combined well to score the game’s only goal and Weiss was quick to point this out.
“Our strategy was to play defence and counterattack, but the players who came in around the 60th minute gave us freshness, and we can say they changed the match.”
He also singled out the entire defence and midfielder Patrick Reichelt for special praise, for their role in helping the Azkals get the win.
“Victory would not have been possible without the great job by the defence - we're back in the race thanks to this fantastic performance. We can now get to the semifinals, but we have to face a strong Myanmar before that.
“Reichelt had a fantastic game, he played with no fear. That is the kind of players we need - I am proud of the boy and I am very happy for him. It was really a great performance and for me he is man of the match.”
Vietnam’s Phan Thanh Hung on the other hand could not hide his disappointment at losing the game and blasted his players for underperforming.
“This is the worst match we’ve played since I started coaching this team,” the former player ranted.
He added: “Many players were psychologically weak and could not play well, that’s why we lost.”
“I thought we prepared for the game well, but as I said before so many players were “freezing” and made several mistakes, such as poor passing.”
The 52-year-old also reserved praise for the opposition’s defence that made it difficult for the Vietnamese forwards to carve out much during the game.
“Today the opponents defended well - it was hard for us to break their defence and we could not create chances to score.”