“I hate defeat. But Vietnam were strong and they had the support of 40,000 fans. They defended well, played long balls and were patient. They also scored a great goal. Thailand also played well. We created many chances but couldn't score. That's football,” Polking said.
He added: “Vietnam got to play at home, they had three months of training with specific strategies. They had better possession and knew how to convert chances. The beautiful goal by Nham Manh Dung is proof that they deserve to be champions.”
Thailand's attacking power was considered the strongest in SEA Games as they scored 13 goals before the final. However, they approached the first half differently, compared to other games.
“Actually, Thailand's playing style was still the same. When we played Indonesia, we didn't need too much pressing, since the opponent didn't know how to distribute the ball. We tried to press Vietnam but it's hard to succeed because they have quite a solid defense. I told the players to be patient and follow the discussed strategy, but the result was not what we expected,” Polking said.
This is the first time that Thailand lost to Vietnam at SEA Games. In the previous 12 SEA Games encounters, Thailand won eight and drew four.
Polking also complimented his Vietnam counterpart Park Hang-seo.
“He's a great coach, but a different type of coach. I know he also hates defeat and loves victory. I really respect him and respect Vietnam. I was sad to lose to Vietnam. I just wished that Thailand had more time to prepare, especially our defense. If that had happened, I think the result today would have been different.”
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