Vietnam draw Singapore in U23 Asian Cup qualifiers
Vietnam were held in a 2-2 draw with Singapore in a September 12 match in Phu Tho province. The result, however, had no impact on their advance to 2024 U23 Asian Cup finals as their two earlier wins against Guam and Yemen had secured their berth, while Singapore were already out of chance.
Nguyen Dinh Bac opens the scoring for Vietnam (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam took no time to dominate the game and things got even more comfortable for them with an early penalty in the 12th minute when Bui Vi Hao was fouled by goalkeeper Aizil Yazid. From the spot, Nguyen Dinh Bac opened the scoring for Vietnam.
In the remaining time of the first half, Singapore couldn’t get the ball on the other side of the field as Vietnam cornered them with great pressure but couldn’t score more.
Throughout the first half, U23 Vietnam created many scoring opportunities with numerous shots at the goal of U23 Singapore but couldn't convert them into goals.
In the first 20 minutes of the second half, U23 Vietnam completely dominated the game, with their players continuing to apply high pressure. Phillippe Troussier made changes to the squard by substituting Van Cuong, Van Toan, and Ngoc Thang for Van Do, Huu Nam, and Hong Phuc.
However, the lapses in concentration by the Vietnamese players allowed Singapore to equalise in the 58th minute. Vietnam’s Nguyen Huu Nam tried to clear the ball with a header, but it hit Phuc and turned into an own goal.
Singapore became more confident after the equaliser and they threatened Vietnam’s goal a few times. But the third goal came to Vietnam instead. In the 76th minute, capitalising on a pass by Do, Nam cannoned a shot into the opponent's net, raising the score to 2 – 1 for Vietnam.
In the 85th minute, a counter-attack put Chua Vasileios on the left flank and he easily equalised again for Singapore.
The game ended 2-2 with Vietnam keeping the top spot of Group C while Singapore left the tournament high-headed after playing their best game.
Speaking at a press conference after the match, Troussier said fixed-ball situations are the strong point of U23 Vietnam and players need to increase the scoring rate from those.
The French coach said his goal is to help the team get better, play fair with opponents, and get more goals from open situations./.
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