Vietnam retain Group G’s top spot after goalless draw against Thailand

Tuesday, 2019-11-19 21:54:26
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

Vietnamese goalkeeper Dang Van Lam denies Thailand's penalty during their World Cup qualifying match on November 19. (vnexpress.net)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO - Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam blocked a penalty and made a number of brilliant saves as Vietnam played out another goalless draw against Thailand on matchday six of the 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers round two in Hanoi on November 19.

The Golden Dragons created a bunch of opportunities throughout the clash and managed to find the back of the net twice, but they were denied by referee Ahmed Al-Kaf who made controversial decisions in both cases.

Despite Vietnam’s missing out on the first home win against Thailand in 21 years, the 0-0 score was an acceptable result to Park Hang-seo’s side, as it was enough to defend their grip on top of Group G with two points clear.

Both teams started the match at a high tempo right from the first whistle, but failed to create any clear-cut chances in the first 25 minutes.

Vietnam should have trailed behind two minutes before the half hour mark, as the Omani referee handed the guests a penalty after judging that Manuel Bihr was brought down by Van Hau in the box. However, goalie Van Lam rescued the home side with a brilliant save, getting down to use his right foot to push away Theerathon’s shot.

Vietnam almost went ahead three minutes later, with Tien Dung heading past the Thai goalkeeper from Quang Hai’s right-wing corner kick, but his goal was disallowed as referee Ahmed Al-Kaf decided that Doan Van Hau had fouled the goalie.

Tien Dung heads past the Thai goalkeeper, but his goal is disallowed. (Photo: vnexpress.net)

Narubadin missed a chance to gift Thailand an opener before halftime with a strike towards the right side of the net.

Five minutes into the second half, Vietnam were denied a goal for the second time, with Van Hau heading the ball to Tien Linh to shoot past keeper Kawin Thamsatchanan, but the goal was disallowed again as Van Hau was controversially ruled offside.

Van Toan came close to opening the scoring for Vietnam in the next two minutes with a volley over the crossbar.

Vietnamese forward Van Toan (R) in action during the match. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

With time running out, Keeper Van Lam rescued Vietnam twice by blocking Phitiwat’s left-footed strike in the 78th minute before saving Theerathon’s annoying corner-kick five minute later.

The goalless score remained unchanged until the final whistle despite concerted efforts from both sides. Regardless of the result, Vietnam remained on top of Group G with 11 points, three clear of third-placed Thailand and two above second-placed Malaysia, who crushed Indonesia with two unanswered goals on the same day.

Next up for Vietnam will be an away clash against Malaysia on March 31, 2020, while Thailand will host Indonesia on March 26.

Group G standings after matchday six of the 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers.

VAN TOAN