Vietnam claims 4-0 victory over Indonesia, resuming World Cup campaign
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|Vietnam scored a 4-0 victory against Indonesia at the World Cup Asian qualifiers. Photo: Bongda24h.vn|
Coach Park Hang-seo’s men will face much sterner tests in their two upcoming Group G fixtures than the young Indonesians offered, but can still take confidence from comfortably dispatching a much inferior side at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
Vietnam dominated the first half but struggled to create many clear openings from a steady stream of set pieces, though they easily smothered any Indonesian attempts to get forward, according to Viet Nam News.
Indonesia offered little other than a succession of wild challenges and could count themselves fortunate to go into the break with 11 players after a late lunge over the top of the ball from Pratama Arhan Alif in the 23rd minute should have seen him receive his marching orders, but the referee was unmoved.
|Vietnam's Phan Van Duc (in red) in action during their Group G match against Indonesia in the World Cup Asian qualifiers on June 7. Photo: AFC|
The turning point came in the 35th minute as Luong Xuan Truong replaced the injured Nguyen Tuan Anh in midfield and gave Vietnam a lot more thrust going forward.
Truong clipped the bar with a long-range shot early on in the second half, which proved to be a portent of things to come for Indonesia.
The opening goal came just five minutes into the second period as Nguyen Tien Linh latched onto a ball over the top by Nguyen Phong Hong Duy Hồng Duy and though his first shot was blocked, he managed to fire the rebound in off the post and past goalkeeper Nadeo Argawinata.
|Vietnam struggled to create many clear openings from a steady stream of set pieces. Photo: Nhan dan (People) newspaper|
Indonesia’s players protested that Linh controlled the ball with his hand to no avail, but they could have no complaints about the second goal.
Nguyen Quang Hai's strike in the 61st minute was typical of the pint-sized playmaker at his scintillating best. The Hanoi FC man picked the ball up outside of the area and drilled a low, rasping drive into the bottom corner of the net which two goalkeepers couldn’t have stopped.
The third goal was bundled home from close range five minutes later by substitute Nguyen Cong Phuong after the forward latched on to Linh’s headed flick-on from a corner.
Indonesia’s Egy Maulana rattled the bar in the 70th minute with a thunderous drive from range, though on the balance of play Bui Tan Truong would have been unlucky to lose his clean sheet on a night he had virtually nothing to do.
|The fourth and final goal was the pick of the bunch and a fitting reward for a solid performance from Vu Van Thanh. Photo: Bongda24h.vn|
The fourth and final goal in the 73rd minute was the pick of the bunch and a fitting reward for a solid performance from Vu Van Thanh. The full-back was played in down the right by Truong and had the composure and skill to cut inside and curl an unstoppable shot into the far corner of Argawinata’s net.
Despite the comfortable win, Vietnam did suffer a blow as Hai's early, and it must be said foolish, yellow card means he will miss June 11’s encounter with Malaysia, while Anh limping off will also be a concern.
|Vietnam now have 14 points and remain the best team of group G in the World Cup Asian qualifiers. Photo: Nhan dan (People) newspaper|
In Group G’s other match on June 7 night, the UAE beat Thailand by three goals to one, putting them just two points behind Vietnam in Group G.
With the victory over Indonesia, Vietnam now have 14 points and remain the best team of group G in the World Cup Asian qualifiers, VnExpress said.
They have two more games in the second round against Malaysia on June 11 and UAE on June 15./.
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