‘Ssaldink Shinhwa’ beats champion Tae and hits the finish line

Coach Park Hang-seo (pictured), who is in charge of the Vietnam national soccer team’s commanding tower, is nicknamed ‘Ssal Dink’. Vietnam’s representative food is rice noodles, and coach Park, who has made great achievements since taking over as the Vietnamese soccer command tower in 2017, is compared to Hiddink, who achieved the myth of Korea’s semifinal in 2002.

Negotiations between coach Park and the Vietnam Football Association to renew the contract broke down in October last year, and the ongoing 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Boat became the last tournament for coach Park to serve as the Vietnamese command tower. And Vietnam, led by coach Park, showed perfect performance not giving up a single point while scoring 12 goals in 4 games in the group stage, and succeeded in advancing to the semifinals by finishing first in the group with a record of 3 wins and 1 draw. The opponent in the quarterfinals is Indonesia, led by Shin Tae-yong. The two coaches engaged in a war of nerves before the head-to-head match, and the result was Park’s victory in Vietnam. They drew 0-0 in Indonesia, but advanced to the final with a 2-0 win in Vietnam.

The key now is whether coach Park will show off a spectacular ‘last dance’ by beating Thailand in the final. The Vietnam national soccer team will play the first leg of the final at Haoni My Dinh National Stadium on the 13th at 9:30 pm (Korean time). The second game will be held at the same time on the 16th. The team with better results in the first and second rounds will win the championship.

Coach Park, who was in charge of Vietnam’s command tower, was on a winning streak, but Thailand, the country that has won the most championships in the tournament, has reached the final nine times and won six championships, and is by no means an easy opponent. Vietnam and Thailand are destined rivals claiming to be the leaders of the AFF, always facing each other at a critical point. Vietnam has a slight lead with 23 wins, 11 draws and 19 losses in 56 encounters since the first friendly match in 1956, but since 1975, when Thai football came into full swing, Thailand has a far superiority with 16 wins, 8 draws and 3 losses. 안전놀이터

Moreover, Thailand remains a ‘trauma’ to director Park. I tasted the bitter taste of defeat in the semifinals of the 2020 Suzuki Cup held in December 2021. Since coach Park rose to the Vietnamese command tower in 2017, the opponent’s record against Thailand has been 1 win, 3 draws and 1 loss. The last win was a 1-0 win in the King’s Cup in June 2019, after which they haven’t won in over three years and haven’t scored a single goal.

Coach Park was treated as a national hero by leading Vietnamese football to the mainstream of Southeast Asia once again. Attention is focusing on whether coach Park will reap the beauty of the end by winning the ‘decoration’ of winning the last competition as the Vietnamese command tower.

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