Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai said a lack of focus cost his team two goals in the AFF Cup final first leg against Thailand Friday night.
“The whole team lost focus on both’s Thailand goals in the second half,” Hai said after the match at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.
“This is a lesson for the team to reflect on and we must be focused at all times in the final second leg on January 16,” he said.
Vietnam had a good start on Friday and opened the score in the 25th minute with Nguyen Tien Linh’s header.
Yet Thailand came back to score two goals in the second half, in the 48th and 63rd minutes.
Vietnam equalized in the 88th minute to settle a 2-2 draw.
Thailand’s goals put Vietnam at a disadvantage because of the away goals rule. If the teams draw over two legs, the one that have scored more goals “away from home” win.
Vietnam’s captain Do Hung Dung also pointed to lack of focus as Vietnam’s problem in the first leg match.
“The success in the first half might have caused the team to lose focus in the second half,” he said.
Hai said the team will stay positive and “fight with all we have” in the secong leg.
He said they were lucky to have no players booked or injured in the first leg.
The second leg will be held in Thailand.
Vietnam need to win or draw 3-3 to lift the trophy. Thailand only need a goalless or 1-1 draw.