2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Asian media praises Vietnam’s emphatic win over UAE

Friday, 2019-11-15 01:54:56
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Vietnam bag a deserved 1-0 win at home.
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NDO – An ecstatic moment with a determined strike from a distance of 25m has made a world-class goal. Striker Nguyen Tien Linh is the name most mentioned by Asian media after his impossible goal helped Vietnam beat the UAE 1-0 in the 2022 World Cup’s second qualifying round clash on November 14.

>>> Nguyen Tien Linh scores as Vietnam edge past 10-man UAE

After 12 years, Vietnam beat the UAE at home again, and this time it was also a convincing win with reasonable tactics from head coach Park Hang-seo, who has just renewed his contract to stay with Vietnamese football for another three years. Against the opponents ranked 67th in the world at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium last night, Park's side firmly defended, while Vietnamese midfielders also fought fiercely to prevent the opponents from having a chance to approach the goal of keeper Dang Van Lam.

Doing well in the defence was the premise for the Vietnamese team to regain possession under great pressure from the UAE, from which they could deploy counter attacks to target the loopholes gradually exposed in the visitors' defence. From such a situation eight minutes before the halftime break, Tien Linh picked up a favourable pass from his teammates to race down the UAE’s box, with only goalkeeper Khalid Eisa to beat. UAE’s defender Khalifa Al Hammadi was forced to make a foul from behind to prevent the Vietnamese striker from scoring the opener. The Japanese referee immediately pulled out a red card for the young UAE defender and the UAE only played with 10 men on the field from that point onwards.

Park Hang-seo’s men capitalised on the situation shortly and before the halftime whistle, they had taken the lead. Tien Linh collected the ball from Quang Hai’s through pass, then firing with aplomb from a distance of 25m into the roof of the Emirati net to score the opener – a classy goal that could only have come from the feet of the world's top stars appeared at My Dinh Stadium. More importantly, it was the decisive goal to help the home team gain the full three points against strong opponents.

Tien Linh took a superb strike with his right foot, although he is a left-footed striker.

Impressed with the performance of the Vietnamese team, the post-match report on the homepage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) wrote: “Nguyen Tien Linh’s wonder strike was the difference as Vietnam defeated the UAE 1-0 at My Dinh Stadium to move top of Group G of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on Thursday”. With Thailand losing 1-2 to Malaysia in the same day, the Vietnamese team overtake "War Elephants" into top spot with 10 points, while the UAE drop to third place with six points.

The highest football management agency in the continent said that Park's players took good numerical advantage to quickly take the lead as soon as the first half was about to finish. “Reeling from their numerical disadvantage, the Whites struggled to match Vietnam’s intensity and were left shyly attempting to find an equaliser until the end of 90 minutes as the Golden Dragons took all three points at the final whistle,” AFC wrote.

Sharing the same view, FOX Sports Asia wrote: "A stunning strike from Nguyen Tien Linh was the difference between the two sides as Vietnam defeated UAE 1-0 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on Thursday.” FOX Sports also said that Khalifa Al Hammadi's dismissal from the field in the 37th minute was a turning point, and Vietnam made the most of such a numerical advantage to score and hold on to an all-important win.

Meanwhile, UAE media did not hide the disappointment as their home team suffered the second consecutive defeat in the World Cup qualifiers of the Asian zone. Arabic newspaper Alroeya wrote: "The UAE lost for the second time in a row in the joint qualifiers for the World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023, after suffering the second defeat without a reply from Vietnam in the meeting between them on Thursday evening at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.” The paper also mentioned the turning point of the match when Al Hammadi received a red card, and then the decisive goal from Tien Linh’s cool finish. Although coach Bert van Marwijk had multiple personnel changes in the second half, the UAE still played ineffectively and had to accept the defeat, Alroeya's article reviewed.

Khalifa Al Hammadi's red card put the UAE at a disadvantage, but it cannot be denied that Vietnam performed better than their strong rivals.

Pointing out the cause of the UAE's defeat, the Western Asia newspaper quoted technical analyst Khalid Obaid as saying that there were two reasons, the first is the red card of defender Al Hammadi, which leads to the goal of Vietnam team, and the second reason is that striker Ahmed Khalil, who was trusted in the absence of key striker Ali Mabkhout due to suspension, was played ineffective before being replaced in the second half.

Another UAE newspaper, The National, was also bitter after the loss of the home team. In an article titled "UAE World Cup 2022 qualification hopes suffer another blow following Vietnam loss," the paper wrote: "Seven minutes was all it took. In control and apparently in position to build upon a strong first half in Vietnam, the UAE’s World Cup qualification hopes suffered a significant dent. The contest in Hanoi lurched in what felt a blink of an eye.”

After Tien Linh's opening goal, the UAE must climb a mountain to rebound from last month’s defeat to Thailand. “They never managed to scale it. They lost 1-0,” the UAE English newspaper wrote bitterly.

Witnessing the impressive victory of the Vietnamese team, the Thai media also praised Park's side, while expressing frustration over the defeat of the Thai team. Siam Sport wrote: "The Vietnamese national team has shown its excellent form at home to win 1-0 against 10-man UAE thanks to a beautiful shot by Nguyen Tien Linh, and overtake Thailand to rise to the top of Group G with 10 points."

Looking at the home team, Siam Sport proved disappointed when the " War Elephants" lost 2-1 to hosts Malaysia. Despite star midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin’s early opener, the Thai were behind in the remaining minutes and finally lost 2-1, a very bad result that costs them the group’s top place to Vietnam. It is Thailand's first defeat in World Cup qualifiers so far and also the first defeat under new Japanese coach Akira Nishino. Moreover, this defeat also extends Thailand's no-win streak away to Malaysia in 15 consecutive years, Siam Sport wrote. The loss would also greatly affect Thai players’ psychology as they prepare to face hosts Vietnam in the next matchday on November 19.

Park continued to make an impressive mark with his extremely sensible strategy.

Meanwhile, in the Republic of Korea, the hometown of coach Park, local media and fans also constantly follow the footsteps of Park Hang-seo's side at the World Cup qualifiers. A number of Korean television stations broadcast the match live of Vietnam against the UAE last night. Reporters of Sports Seoul were also present at My Dinh Stadium to directly report on the atmosphere during the game. Sports Seoul ran a headline: "Vietnam beat UAE 1-0 – Park Hang-seo magic continues", which described: "It is expected that the match will not be easy even though Vietnam are the home team. Although the UAE lost to Thailand, they are dominating West Asian football together with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and also made it through to the semis in the 2019 Asian Cup.” However, the UAE had to accept a defeat by the superb goal from Tien Linh.

Commenting on the secret to the victory of the “Golden Stars”, Sports Seoul said: “Park's distinctive feature is his strong defensive organisation and uses it as a basis for success. It was also seen in the UAE clash. Vietnam properly blocked the UAE's attacks and won full three points. Former Asia’s best player and the UAE's proud – midfielder Omar Abdulrahman – did not show much against Park Hang-seo’s magic. Coach Bert van Marwijk, who led the Netherlands to the runners-up finish in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is definitely under huge pressure after this defeat.”

The third consecutive victory in the World Cup qualifying helps Vietnam to rise to the top of Group G, thereby opening the door to automatically qualify for the next round. This is also a fierce declaration that Vietnam are ready to confront Thailand in the next match, the match against the "most important" opponents of the Vietnamese football this year, as Park said in the post-match press brief. If they continue to win, the Vietnamese team will retain the top spot of Group G, with the distance with "War Elephants" being six points until the next matchday starts again in March next year.

TRUNG HUNG - Photo credit: Vietnam Football Federation