Cong Phuong scores as Vietnam thrash Malaysia 2-0

Friday, 2018-11-16 22:31:17
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Forward Nguyen Cong Phuong celebrates after scoring the opener for Vietnam. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
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NDO – Vietnam cruised past Malaysia by two straight goals at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on November 16 to join Myanmar on top of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup Group A with six points after two matches.

* Vietnam beat Laos 3-0 in AFF Suzuki Cup opener

Cong Phuong opened the scoring after 11 minutes before veteran Anh Duc blasted the second goal on the hour mark to seal a 2-0 win for coach Park Hang-seo’s side.

Despite playing away, Malaysia proactively put up pressure right from the start determined to claim the third triumph victory in a row to secure an early berth in the semifinals.

However, their ambition was dealt a big blow as it was the Vietnamese side who scored the first goal of the match thanks to Cong Phuong’s close-range shot 11 minutes into the game.

Quang Hai missed the chance to double Vietnam’s advantage three minutes later by producing a strike over the cross bar from a free-kick situation.

Park Hang-seo's side receives strong support from home fans. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

The remainder of the first half saw Malaysia push hard for an equaliser. Goalkeeper Van Lam brilliantly saved two strikes by forward Talaha in the 21st and 37th minutes to help Vietnam keep a clean sheet into half time.

The 1-0 lead inspired the “Yellow Stars” to play confidently after the break, forcing the Malaysians to no longer dominate ball possession as in the first half.

Few opportunities were created in the penalty box of both sides, as the battle took place fiercely in the midfield.

One minute before the hour mark, Malaysia were rewarded a freekick from a distance of 20 metres, which could have been converted into an equaliser for the guests but for Vietnam keeper Van Lam’s smart block of substitute Safawi Rasid’s cunning left-footed curler.

Veteran striker Nguyen Anh Duc celebrates after doubling Vietnam's advantage. (Photo:

Immediately afterwards, Anh Duc put salt on Malaysia’s wound by netting the second goal for the Vietnamese side. Taking a convenient through ball from Van Duc, the 33-year-old forward fired a left-footed shot that proved cunning enough to beat the Malaysian goalie.

With time running out, the away team intensified their attacks seeking for a consolation, only to see their attempts denied by Vietnam’s solid defence.

The second consecutive win helped Park Hang-seo’s troops to join Myanmar on top of Group A with six points and a goal difference of +5 for each, following the latter’s 3-1 triumph against Laos in another match on the same day.

Next up for Vietnam will be an away group clash with Myanmar on November 20.