Misfiring Thais concern Chanvit despite final berth
BANGKOK - Thailand coach Chanvit Polchivin is worried about his side's lack of firepower despite the three-time champions earning a spot in the final of this year's Asean Football Championship.
The Thais will face defending champions Singapore on Wednesday in the first leg of the home-and-away showdown after a 0-0 draw in Bangkok against Vietnam guaranteed Chanvit's team a 2-0 aggregate victory following their success in the opening match in Hanoi last week.
The two nations - who are the only countries to have won the title in the event's 11-year history - will meet in Singapore before playing the return leg in Bangkok on February 4.
'Of course I am happy with the result but we must practice our finishing as we missed many chances from six, 10 yards inside the box,' said Chanvit after the drab draw at a packed Supachalasai Stadium.
'We played an attacking game but we played a little bit safe as many players were tired and carrying slight injuries like Kiatisuk (Senamuang).
'It will be very hard for us against Singapore as we only have a few days rest. We have to help our players recover physically, but there isn't much time before the first leg of the final.'
Alfred Riedl shared his Thai counterparts concerns about the inability to convert chances with the Austrian lamenting the first leg loss and Vietnam's lack of luck throughout the campaign.
'Tonight the draw was the correct result,' said the former Palestine coach. 'Both teams had a few chances in the first half but the second half there were almost no chances.
'In my eyes we were unlucky to go out. Today was an equal match but we didn't do the job in Hanoi.
'In Hanoi we were better than today but if you cannot score in two matches then you can't go to the final, let's be honest about this.
'We have to score goals. We had the chances in Hanoi but if you don't score you don't win.'
Despite bowing out of the competition Riedl, who led Vietnam to a runners-up finish in 1998, was generally satisfied with his side's campaign.
'In this tournament we have been unlucky,' said the Austrian. 'Against Singapore we had a fair goal disallowed while the draw with Indonesia was a fair result and we scored a lot against Laos.
'We don't have to be too unhappy with our position. We were without 10 players; seven from the match-fixing scandal and three players through injury or suspension.
'I think we were better than the Thais over the two matches but congratulations to Thailand. Maybe with their overall performance they are the number one side in South East Asia, but we are number two.'