Vietnam finishes fourth in Asiad men’s football

Saturday, 2018-09-01 18:06:04
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The brilliant performance of keeper Alshamsi is the key to the UAE's victory. (Photo: vnexpress.net)
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NDO – Vietnam’s Olympic team missed out on a historic Asiad bronze medal as Park Hang-seo’s players fell to defeat at the hands of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after a tense penalty shootout ended 4-3 in the third-place match on September 1.

Alhashmi Ahmad opened the scoring for the UAE after 17 minutes before Van Quyet restored parity ten minutes later.

The scoreline remained at 1-1 throughout the 90 minutes, forcing the match to penalties, which saw the UAE outgun the Vietnamese side with four successful penalties.

Ahead of the match, the Vietnamese team were considered heavy favourites against the UAE taking into account both sides’ results in previous matches.

The “yellow stars” created a number of chances in the first ten minutes, with Van Thanh’s 30-metre strike (2’) saved by keeper Alshamsi, and two attempts going wide from Anh Duc (8’) and Van Hau (13’).

Alhashmi Ahmad celebrates after scoring the opener for the UAE. (Photo: vnexpress.net)

However, it was the UAE who scored the first goal, as the brilliant Alhashmi Ahmad fired a powerful shot from outside the box that was beyond the reach of Vietnam goalie Bui Tien Dung.

Inspired by the opener, the Western Asian team increased pressure on the Vietnamese goal, with Aldarmki Shaheen rocketing a long-range strike off post in the 20th minute.

Seven minutes later, Van Quyet ignited Vietnam’s hopes of finishing the match in 90 minutes by slotting in an equaliser from close range, following the two passing attempts by Van Toan and Anh Duc.

Van Quyet celebrates with teammates after scoring the equaliser. (Photo: vnexpress.net)

With the pressure relieved, Park’s players were more confident and effective in their attacks, producing constant threats on the UAE goal. However, the exceptional performance of keeper Alshamsi prevented Vietnam’s attempts from being converted into a winner throughout the remainder of the match.

Alshamsi blocked a series of shots including Van Hau’s shot in first-half injury time, Duc Chinh’s 68th-minute finish from the angle, Van Duc’s 25-metre strike, and especially Minh Vuong’s brilliant freekick seconds before the final whistle.

In the decisive penalty shootout, the UAE goalie continued to his excellent performance by saving Vietnam’s fourth kick by Minh Vuong to seal an overall 4-3 triumph for the Western Asian representatives. Earlier, Quang Hai failed to convert the second kick of the Vietnamese side with a shot which narrowly rebounded off the post.

VAN TOAN