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Three teams in AFF Championship semifinals are led by Korean coaches

Three teams in AFF Championship semifinals are led by Korean coaches

Posted January. 05, 2023 07:58,   

Updated January. 05, 2023 07:58


Three out of four countries that advanced to the semifinals of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship, dubbed as the “World Cup of Southeast Asia,” are led by Korean coaches.

In the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup, Indonesia, led by Shin Tae-yong, Vietnam, led by Park Hang-seo, and Malaysia, led by Kim Pan-gon, advanced to the semifinals. Cambodia and Singapore, led by Japanese coaches, were eliminated in the group stage.

Vietnam and Malaysia emerged victorious in the final match of the Mitsubishi Cup group stage held on Tuesday, with Vietnam defeating Myanmar 3-0 and Malaysia defeating Singapore 4-1. As a result, Vietnam advanced to the semifinals with 10 points (3 wins, one draw). In comparison, Malaysia advanced with nine points (3 wins, one loss), placing Vietnam the first and Malaysia the second in Group B. Indonesia also advanced to the semifinals after defeating the Philippines 2-1 on Monday, finishing as a second-place in Group A. Three of the countries advancing to the semifinals are led by Korean coaches. Thailand is led by Alexandré Pölking, who has dual citizenship in Brazil and Germany.

All 10 participating countries in the Mitsubishi Cup are led by foreign coaches, including three Koreans, five Europeans, and two Japanese. The Cambodian national team was led by Ryu Hirose and Keisuke Honda, while Takayuki Nishigaya led Singapore. Cambodia in Group A and Singapore in Group B failed to advance to the semifinals, with two wins and two losses and two wins, one draw, and one loss, respectively.

Vietnam will compete for the championship in four years since the 2018 tournament, while Indonesia is eyeing its first-ever championship in the history of the Mitsubishi cup. Malaysia has not won the championship for 12 years, with their last victory in the 2010 tournament. Park, who has been leading the Vietnamese national team since 2017, will end his five-year partnership with Vietnam after this tournament.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com