Vietnam Beat Malaysia to Earn Second Victory at AFF Cup - Video
Vietnam put on a strong performance in a game where their opponents Malaysia did not have many options for players, with four infected with Covid-19 and one injured, VNE reported.
Coach Park Hang-seo made multiple changes to the Golden Star Warriors after the first match against Laos on December 6, bringing back captain Que Ngoc Hai as well as other new starters to the line-up. One surprising move, however, was dropping striker Nguyen Tien Linh, who was replaced by Nguyen Quang Hai.
According to VOV, the men in red dominated from the opening whistle and put Tan Cheng Hoe's side under pressure with high-intensity pressing. Malaysia's six-yard box was under constant bombardment with long balls over the top, and in the first minute, Cong Phuong was put through on goal but fluffed his lines.
Vietnam were in control but had to wait until the 32nd minute to open the scoring, a left-wing cutback from Nguyen Phong Hong Duy found Quang Hai, who buried the chance with aplomb.
Hai made a thunderous strike with his left foot from Phan Van Duc's pass and opened the score for Vietnam in the 31st minute.
He helped double the score for Vietnam five minutes later with a backheel pass to Nguyen Cong Phuong, who dribbled past two Malaysia defenders before finishing.
With 15 minutes left, Vietnam started taking key players off the field to preserve their stamina for the next game.
But the remainders continued to put pressure on Malaysia and scored the third goal.
When Malaysia lost the ball in the midfield in the 89th minute, it was taken by Nguyen Hoang Duc, who is playing at AFF Cup for the first time. He easily dribbled past the defense line before shooting from outside the box into the left corner.
A 3-0 victory put Vietnam in the driving seat towards the semifinals with two games left. They face Indonesia on Wednesday and a victory would ensure Coach Park's men their fourth consecutive appearance in the playoffs.
|Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe at a press conference. Photo: VNE|
Coach Tan Cheng Hoe admitted that Vietnam played better and their 3-0 victory against Malaysia in AFF Cup on Sunday night is totally deserved.
"It was a really tough game for Malaysia. We have lost to a stronger team. I'm surprised with Vietnam's performance because both teams have faced each other many times. They are a strong team and had great preparation when playing in the final round of World Cup qualifiers. Vietnam players were really skilled and they followed the tactics well," Tan said in the post-match conference Sunday night.
"We have learned a big lesson in this game. We played defensively in the first half, but the problem is we failed to gain possession. My players didn't concentrate and let the opponent score. We need to forget this and prepare for the game with Indonesia," Tan added.
With this defeat, Malaysia have lost five and drew one in the past six games with Vietnam.
|Vietnam's next game will be against Indonesia on Wednesday. It had earlier begun its defence of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup with a stuttering 2-0 win against Laos in Singapore on November 6 evening.|
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