Vietnam take 2-1 victory over Malaysia, taking big step towards World Cup third qualifying round | Culture – Sports
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam took a big step towards the third and final qualifying round for the World Cup for the first time in history with a tense 2-1 victory over Malaysia on June 11 evening.
The three points mean Vietnam only needs a draw with the United Arab Emirates on June 15 to advance.
With star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai suspended, Vietnam’s performance at Al Maktoum Stadium in the UAE was far less successful than in the 4-0 win over Indonesia, but Coach Park once proved moreover, he could prepare his team for a result.
Malaysia started the game faster and took advantage of the majority of the possession, but couldn’t create any clear chances from the start.
On the other hand, Vietnam were more effective in their pushes into the Malaysian half of the field and enjoyed a lot of glee on the left side, with Doan Van Hau having repeatedly found himself in acres of space.
Vietnam quickly took the lead when Nguyen Tien Linh, who opened the scoring in the 4-0 win over Indonesia on June 7, scored with a header in the 26th minute.
Luong Xuan Truong’s corner was headed through the air by Malaysian captain Aidil Zafuan, allowing Hau to come back over the goal for Linh, who nodded to score a quintessential poacher goal.
The goal seemed to give Malaysia a spark of life and they would have equalized in the 38th minute had it not been for a superb save from goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong.
The Vietnamese defense was slashed by a deep cross from Malaysian Matthew Davies who left Syafiq Ahmad with the goal at his mercy, but Truong reacted superbly to tip his head back at close range.
Truong returned to action minutes later to prevent Safawi Rasid’s direct free kick and bring Vietnam to the break with their lead intact.
Malaysia only increased their dominance of the ball in the second half, but Vietnam should have doubled their lead against run of play in the 64th minute, but Nguyen Trong Hoang missed the shot after being played by Nguyen Hoang Duc at the end of a labyrinthine race.
Just five minutes later, Vietnam had to pay for rejecting this opportunity.
Hau hit Guilherme de Paula in the box when the two clashed for a header and left referee Ryuji Sato with no choice but to point straight ahead.
The naturalized striker dusted off and converted the penalty to equalize.
In a bid to regain control of a game that was eluding him, Coach Park let go of his normally defensive instincts by calling on forwards Ha Duc Chinh and Nguyen Van in what turned out to be a masterstroke.
In the 80th minute, Vu Van Thanh slipped a pass to Toan in the penalty area. Before the forward could retrieve the ball, it fell to the ground after his heel was apparently cut off by Malaysia’s Brendan Gan and he received a penalty.
TV reruns were inconclusive but suggested some degree of faking by Toan, although in the absence of VAR the penalty was upheld.
Captain Que Ngoc Hai, apparently the coolest man in the stadium, stepped forward and kicked the ball home to make it 2-1.
Vietnam were able to hold on for the last few minutes without allowing Malaysia to create a decent chance to ensure they come away with a famous victory in front of the lucky few Vietnamese supporters in the stands.
The victory keeps Vietnam at the top of Group G with 17 points, two ahead of the United Arab Emirates.
The two teams will meet for their last match of the second qualifying round on the evening of June 15 with Vietnam knowing that a draw would qualify them for the next round./.