Malaysia look to surprise Vietnam in home leg, says Tan

Striker Zaquan Adha recalls a similar situation involving Malaysia and Vietnam, which took place in 2009.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Ahead of Malaysia's 2018 AFF Championship first leg final match against Vietnam on Tuesday, Tan expressed his belief that his charges have improved and can take advantage of playing at home.

Speaking in the pre-match press conference, the Malaysia boss highlighted the importance of winning the title this year.

Malaysia's only AFF Championship title so far was won in the 2010 edition, with Tan back then the assistant to Datuk K. Rajagobal.

"The 2010 success is something that I will remember forever. But now I'm at the helm, we need to create new history. I have full belief in my players and the coaching staff, they too want their own success, despite the fact that Vietnam are a formidable side.

"We must take advantage of playing at home in the first leg in front of our own fans. The opponents play a very fast game, so the defence must keep their focus tomorrow.

"The earlier game in Hanoi was a different game, it was a group stage encounter, while my players have learnt their lesson from the defeat," noted the former Kedah boxx.

His sentiment that the team can upset the favourites, despite their earlier 2-0 defeat to the same opponents in the group stage, is shared by his striker, Zaquan Adha.

"I've experienced something like this before; in the 2009 SEA Games in Laos. We lost to Vietnam 3-1 in the group stage, but beat them 1-0 in the final.

"Our mistakes in the [AFF Championship] group match will be rectified, and the final tie will be different," said the skipper.

Tan also believes that the home advantage will give his charges the edge on Tuesday.

"I'm sure that playing at a sold-out Bukit Jalil is never easy for young players. I'm confident that my players can surprise Vietnam," said Tan.

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