Unlike in the previous matches against Myanmar and Thailand, the home first leg against Vietnam in the final was not Mohamadou Sumareh’s finest momemt in Malaysian colours. He had a difficult time going up against Doan Van Hau, the Vietnam left back and it proved to be a bruising battle for Sumareh as well.
Speaking to Goal prior to the team’s flight to Hanoi on Thursday, Sumareh explained that despite the difficulties, he is relishing going up against Van Hau once again.
“He is a very good left back who was very physical and loves to pull a lot. Obviously the linesman and the referee did not see. It was a tough game and a high intensity one from the first whistle to the last.”
“Both teams were attacking all the way and it was quite tiring. Now it’s difficult for us because they have the two away goals but nothing is impossible,” Sumareh told Goal.
One of things which also happened in the first leg was Sumareh switching flanks with Safawi Rasid in the second half, something which did not happen throughout the semi-final encounters against Thailand. Sumareh admitted that the switch is to enable Safawi to be more effective but the Pahang winger is also adamant that it also helps him and the team.
“Switching sides was more because Safawi’s strength when he breaks from the right, he can shoot with his powerful left leg. For me as well, I’m a right footer and breaking from the left to do the same.”
“So we have to switch once in a while to see how it goes. But that is football, you can’t just stick to one position. You have rotate and rotate to confuse the defenders,” he explained.
Sumareh and his team mates have already experienced My Dinh Stadium once in the competition and they will no doubt be fully aware of what kind of atmosphere to expect.
Despite only holding half the capacity of Bukit Jalil National Stadium, it is a cacophony of noise particularly as the fans are almost all armed with what is considered a smaller version of the vuvuzelas made famous during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Yet the Gambian turned Malaysian quickly brushed aside any potential impact the Hanoi home fans can have on the Harimau Malaya and vows to bring home a win and ultimately the trophy to Malaysia.
“It’s not as loud as our home ground. Our home ground is over 100,000 and Hanoi is not even close to that. If we could play with that kind of pressure and that kind of capacity of fans, we are used to it. We won’t go there and be nervous or scared. It’s part of us and we can play with the crowd.”
“We’ve played them twice already. We know each other so well so this third game will be a very different ball game. We know them as much as they know us. Hopefully we can go there and win and take home the trophy. We go there to win one nil, 2-1 or whatever it is; we just need to win,” he added.
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