Park implores AFF to introduce VAR after contentious calls in Vietnam loss

Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo has called on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to be introduced in future editions of the AFF Suzuki Cup, after a serious of contentious decisions in his side's 2-0 loss to Thailand in the first leg of their semifinal.

Defending champions Vietnam, who had yet to concede a goal at the tournament before Thursday's clash at Singapore's National Stadium, were downed by a first-half double from Chanathip Songkrasin, but were left aggrieved after a series of calls went against them.

- Chanathip masterclass hands Thailand advantage over Vietnam
- Shin defends Indonesia players from foul play accusations
- Don't miss The John Dykes Show, with all new episodes each Friday on Disney+ Hotstar. Click here to join the conversation!

In an at-times volatile affair between two traditional rivals that constantly threatened to turn nasty, the Vietnamese were aggrieved not to be awarded an injury-time penalty for a handball shout.

They were also incensed in the closing stages when the Thais were awarded a spotkick of their own, which saw Chanathip denied his hat-trick by opposition goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh, while Vietnam also believed War Elephants custodian Chatchai Budprom should have received more severe punishment than just a yellow for a last-man foul outside his area in the first half.

Having initially claimed he had "no comment" about the officiating, Park then voluntarily made a closing statement at his post-match press conference, saying: "I have one recommendation for the organisers of the AFF Suzuki Cup. Many times, we are having problems with the referees.

"Nowadays, we see all the big tournaments using the VAR. I think this must apply to this tournament because, every time after the game when I'm asked about the referee, I do not know how to answer. It's very difficult.

"This tournament only gets better with each edition with more sponsors, so we must use VAR from the next tournament. This will make it fair for every team."

Although Thailand were the dominant side overall, Vietnam were unlucky not to at least pull a goal back with star man Nguyen Quang Hai twice being denied by the woodwork.

The Thais also benefitted from a touch of fortune with their opener when a costly slip by Vietnam wingback Nguyen Phong Hong Duy allowed a harmless attempted through-ball by Thanawat Suengchitthawon to reach Chanathip for his first goal.

"We were lucky with the first goal when their player slipped, but you still have to be there to punish the mistake. Our second goal was very nice," said Thailand coach Alexandre Polking.

"It's an important first step but we know it's not done yet. We also know we have to adjust some things so that we can play better than this.

"We changed the approach a bit in the second half to stay compact and get them on the counter and that led to the penalty. Unfortunately we missed it otherwise it could have been the perfect plan.

"For now, at 2-0, everything is still open so we need to really rest over the next two days, think about what we need to correct, and then we go again."