Duc Chinh heads Vietnam past Singapore for fourth consecutive win

Tuesday, 2019-12-03 20:52:18
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Ha Duc Chinh heads home from close range to seal a precious win for Vietnam U22s. (Photo: Vnexpress)
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NDO – Vietnam have made a great stride towards sealing a place in the semifinals of the 2019 SEA Games men's football after edging past Singapore 1-0 in their fourth Group B match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Philippines on December 3.

A header from Ha Duc Chinh a few minutes before the final whistle gifted Vietnam a fourth consecutive win in their SEA Games campaign, allowing Park Hang-seo’s side to continue their reign on top of the group with 12 points, three clear of Thailand and Indonesia, who recorded respective 2-0 and 8-0 triumphs over Laos and Brunei on the same day.

Duc Chinh (second from right) celebrates with teammates after scoring the solitary goal for Vietnam U22s. (Photo: Vnexpress)

Although the door to the semifinals had officially closed to Singapore following their two wins and one draw, they started the match strongly seeking to attain a positive result against the Vietnamese team.

Throughout the first 45 minutes, Singapore played with solid defence, preventing Vietnam from creating any clear-cut chances.

Fandi Ahmad’s side even threatened to score in the 16th minute, as Irfan Fandi fired a powerful freekick from nearly 30 metres, forcing Vietnam goalkeeper Van Toan to work hard for a save.

After a goalless first half, Park sent forward Nguyen Tien Linh onto the field in a bid to strengthen Vietnam’s attacking power. The Becamex Binh Duong forward immediately showed off his value taking a long ball to be one-on-one against the Singapore keeper, but he was unexpectedly blocked by defender Tajeli.

Vietnam successfully set the pace of the game in the following minutes, putting constant pressure on the opposite side, with Doan Van Hau blasting a header off the post (75’) and Tien Linh heading the ball over the crossbar (81’).

Vietnamese forward Nguyen Tien Linh (R) has some opportunities to score, but failed to capitalise on any of them. (Photo: Vnexpress)

After a bunch of wasted opportunities, Vietnam finally found the back of the net with a brilliant combination between Viet Hung, Van Hau and Duc Chinh. From a corner kick by Viet Hung, Van Hau headed a pass into the centre of the box for Duc Chinh to head past keeper Zharfan to increase his 2019 SEA Games tally to five goals.

Park’s side missed a clear-cut chance to double their advantage three minutes later, as Viet Hung placed a shot narrowly wide from a comfortable position. However, the 1-0 score was enough to help Vietnam defend their three-point lead at top of Group B.

Vietnam will grab an upper hand going into their last group match against Thailand on December 5, as only a draw will see them through to the semifinals as the Group B winners.

VAN TOAN