HCM CITY (VNS)— Viet Nam comfortably beat Myanmar 2-0 in their friendly at HCM City's Thong Nhat Stadium yesterday, thanks to a display full of confidence, power and skill.
Hoang Danh Ngoc opened the scoring for the hosts with a simple tap-in after 32 minutes and Ha Minh Tuan struck from inside the box to add another early in the second half.
The victory provides a much-needed boost for new coach Hoang Van Phuc and his players as they continue their preparation for the SEA Games. The team performed badly at the previous tournament two years ago and are looking to make amends.
The win over Myanmar has also provided the fans with some optimism for the future, as Phuc did not even field a full-strength team last night.
After the game, the coach declared himself reasonably happy with the performance: "I am quite pleased with the result because Myanmar played well, but I am disappointed that we squandered some good chances."
Tin Myint Aung, manager of Myanmar, offered generous praise for Viet Nam in his post-match press conference.
"Viet Nam proved they were a strong team tonight. They were far superior and their win was completely deserved."
The hosts started the game the better side, but struggled to make the most of their possession with any real goal-scoring chances except a Trinh Dinh Dung header that found the side of the net.
Myanmar settled as the game went on, and the tie developed into an end-to-end affair.
The visitors had the first real chance of the game when captain Kaung Si Thu flicked the ball to Nanda Lin Kyaw Chit who, despite being closely marked, managed to deliver a looping header towards goal. Vietnamese goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh was quick to react however, and produced a brilliant diving save to tip the ball over the bar.
The match continued with little sign of the deadlock being broken, leading to a feeling of anxiety spreading through the 15,000 Vietnamese fans in attendance.
However, they were eventually allowed to breathe a sigh of relief just before half time when Vu Minh Tuan was released on the left wing and found space to deliver a great ball to Ngoc, who easily beat goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Phyo from close range.
A buoyant Viet Nam began the second half excellently and Ha Minh Tuan doubled the margin when he stretched out a leg to meet an inviting cross from Quang Hung following a fine counter-attack.
From then on Viet Nam protected their lead by maintaining possession, reducing a tired Myanmar side to speculative long shots. When the final whistle blew, cheers rang out around the ground. Vietnamese fans will hope that this is the start of a new dawn. — VNS