M-150 Cup: Vietnam miss final match after defeat to Uzbekistan

Wednesday, 2017-12-13 11:33:01
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Striker Cong Phuong (in red) could not save Vietnam from a loss to Uzbekistan.
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NDO – Defensive lapses made the Vietnam’s U23 team pay severely as they succumbed to a 1-2 loss against Uzbekistan U23 on December 13, thereby missing out on Group B’s sole ticket to the final match of the Thai M-150 International Friendly Football Tournament 2017.

>>> Quang Hai’s double gives Vietnam U-23’s first win at Thai tournament

Ahead of the encounter, Vietnam were leading the group with three points, two points above Myanmar and Uzbekistan, who held each other to a 2-2 draw two days earlier. A draw against Uzbekistan would have been enough to secure Vietnam a place in the final.

However, Park Hang-seo’s players could not make use of their advantage in order to progress to the decisive game.

Weakness in defence accounted for both goals that the Vietnamese side conceded during the match.

On the half hour mark, defender Duy Manh carelessly blocked a right-wing pass from an Uzbekistani player, presenting the ball at the feet of Abdixolokov, who then fired an unstoppable shot from close range to open the scoring for Uzbekistan.

Despite their concerted efforts in the remainder of the first half, Vietnam failed to create any concrete opportunities against a determined and solid Uzbekistan.

It was not until the 59th minute that Vietnam managed to earn an equaliser, with Cong Phuong successfully converting a penalty, which was awarded to the Vietnamese side after Hong Duy was infringed in the 16m50 area.

However, the game did not remain level for long, as Uzbekistan restored their lead just six minutes later. Vietnamese keeper Van Hoang brilliantly saved Urinboev’s close-range header, but could not prevent the captain of Uzbekistan U23 from comfortably tapping the ball into the net on his second attempt from the rebound.

Vietnam’s loose defensive line was also accountable for Uzbekistan’s second goal, as the red-colour team had left too much empty space for the Uzbekistani forwards to move into. Vietnam could have conceded a third goal if it had not been for Van Hoang’s alertness in blocking a shot from close range in the 86th minute.

With a convincing 2-1 victory, Uzbekistan made it through to the final match as the Group B leaders. Meanwhile, Vietnam will join the Group A runners-up in the third-place match on December 15.

VAN TOAN