HCM CITY — Viet Nam overcame Mozambique 1-0 on Saturday in a friendly match to mark the 37th anniversary of the establishment of relations between the two countries at Thong Nhat Stadium.
|Quick step: Vietnamese player Pham Thanh Luong (lelft) vies with Mozambique's Macovela Gabriel in a friendly match at Thong Nhat Stadium on Saturday. The hosts won 1-0. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut
The only goal of the match was in the second half as defender Sidique Mussagy, in his effort to clear Pham Thanh Luong's corner kick, headed the ball into his own net.
The match, which Mozambican ambassador to Viet Nam and sports officials from both countries attended, was a quality one with both teams equally matched and having the opportunity to win.
Both teams traded attacks in a high tempo game but poor finishing prevented either teams from getting the opener in the first set.
Mozambique had a goal disallowed in the 15th minute when Thai referee Nuajan Teetichai determined that Macovela Gabriel fouled a Vietnamese defender before Nguyen Minh Duc deflected his header into his own net.
Lively Luong twisted a Mozambican defender in a one-on-one situation with opposition keeper Victor Timane in the 36th minute, but he dragged a shot wide.
Six minutes later, Mozambican captain Jeremias Sitoe failed to capitalise on a mistake from goalkeeper Nguyen Manh Dung, who left the goal to compete for the ball with Sitoe. But in front of an empty goal, Sitoe still rocketed a shot over the bar.
The second half saw Viet Nam dominating possession while Mozambique, which had been fielding some young players, seemed to fade out and dropped deeper in defence.
Viet Nam converted the domination into goalscoring chances many times but spurned all those opportunities by the lack of accurate finishing from Nguyen Trong Hoang, Huynh Quoc Anh and Luong.
It was luck that helped Viet Nam break the deadlock when Mussagy, in his effort to clear Luong's corner kick on the right wing, headed the ball into his own net in the 63rd minute.
Viet Nam continued to controlling the match in the rest of the game but could not add any goals to the scoreboard.
The friendly against Mozambique is Viet Nam's third game this year and no strikers have scored in all three matches. This is a worry for Viet Nam's coach Phan Thanh Hung.
"Players linked up well during the match and created good chances but finishing has not been good," Hung said.
Mozambican coach Josef Artur Angels said: "It was a tough match for us but in the first half we had very good opportunities to score. If we had taken chances, we could have had at least a draw but I am quite satisfied with my players." — VNS