It was the customary pre-tournament “we will try our best” comments from all the four coaches whose teams are involved in the AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying competition which begins today.
The reality here, however, is that the time for trying is over, for only one team will advance to the AFF Suzuki Cup Finals next month.
The four teams in action in the qualifiers – hosts Cambodia, Laos, Brunei and Timor Leste – simply can’t afford any slip-ups as they only have three matches to earn their place in the prestigious final rounds.
The battle begins with the opening matches today when Brunei takes on Timor Leste and Cambodia faces Laos.
Cambodia’s South Korean coach Lee Tae-hoon said: “We were well prepared before but sometimes, especially for the first game in official tournaments, can sometimes be difficult. We have an important first game against Laos whose level is similar with us.
“What I can say is tomorrow’s game is going to be very interesting, we will give it our best. In the last qualifying tournament, we finished third and missed the cut but this time, we are playing at home and we would like to make it through.”