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Region's media divided on Tiger Cup draw

Date: 
Sat, 10 Jul 2004

A wide range of differing viewpoints were taken by the region's media after the Tiger Cup draw last Wednesday.

The Vietnam News English language daily was thrilled at Vietnam being drawn with the Lions, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos, proclaiming in a headline 'Draw sweetens VN's chances of Tiger Cup finals win'.

The daily also quoted the vice-chairman of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Tran Duy Ly, who wrote off his team's opposition's chances.

"Vietnam won most of the clashes against Indonesia in the recent regional games and Singapore’s performance has been pretty monotonous. I don’t think they’ll be able to keep a good form on the field," he said.

"It won’t be hard for Vietnam to clinch a win over underdogs Laos and Cambodia on their home turf."

The official Nhan Dan newspaper was also looking to the semi-finals for the co-hosts but was less ebullient. 'Draw makes Vietnam difficult in the semifinals,' went the headline.

Nhan Dan quoted Vietnam's assistant coach Nguyen Thanh Vinh as saying: "The draw result seems easy for Vietnam in the stage group, but the team will face some difficulties in the semifinals.

"I think that it is not difficult for the team to beat Singapore, as they are not as strong as they were in the previous years."

Singaporean papers focused on the fact that the Lions would not meet arch-rivals Malaysia until the semifinals at least.

"Singapore may have to wait until the semi-finals of this year's Tiger Cup to avenge the 0-4 humiliation by Malaysia in the same tournament two years ago," said the Straits Times.

The Today paper added that Singapore would be making the trip back to Hanoi, where they won the Tiger Cup in 1998.

"On paper, it looks like a favourable draw for the Lions, who avoided tricky clashes against powerhouses Thailand and Malaysia.

"Apart from Vietnam and two-time finalists Indonesia, the remaining group rivals will probably not pose too many problems for the Lions," said the paper.

Yet another viewpoint was provided by the FootballAsia website, which said: "Vietnam landed in the tougher Group A with Asian Cup 2004 finalists Indonesia, (and) 1998 Tiger Cup champions Singapore...".

Malaysian daily the New Straits Times on the other hand was sure that the Tigers had landed the easier group. 

'Malaysia sure bets for semifinals', ran the headline for the article which predicted: "The luck of the draw was very much in Malaysia’s favour yesterday as they were drawn in Group B with champions Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar and Timor Leste."

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