KLAIPÉDA - Việt Nam entered their second group stage match in the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 against Panama on Thursday, knowing a win was vital if they wanted to progress to the next round.
And Phạm Minh Giang’s men delivered in Lithuania, claiming all the three points in a 3-2 thriller. If they avoid defeat in the final group game against the Czech Republic on Sunday they will go through to the knock out stages.
A loss could still see Việt Nam progress, but that will only depend on the number of goals they concede.
Việt Nam grabbed their hard-earned win after a 3-2 thriller against Panama. Photo: thethaovanhoa.vn
In Thursday night's match (local time), the Golden Star Warriors took the initiative from the off, with a goal by Vietnamese Futsal Golden Ball winner Nguyễn Minh Trí right in the first minute from a corner kick.
Seven minutes later, Châu Đoàn Phát fired home the second from long range, again after a corner. Goalkeeper Hồ Văn Ý even tried to get in on the action, with speculative effort from inside his own half that hit the post.
More opportunities came Việt Nam's way in the opening exchanges, but poor finishing from the team in white would prove costly when Panama’s forward Castrellon punished those missed chances by firing a vicious left-footed effort to reduce the deficit to one goal.
Keeper Hồ Văn Ý went for goal again, this time his shot bounced off both posts and had seemingly crossed the line but the goal was ruled out after intervention from VAR.
Gutted by the decision, the Vietnamese players lost their focus and were drawn into multiple fouls, and conceded a 10-metre penalty after their sixth team foul. Castrellon made no mistakes and equalised for Panama just before half-time.
Although Panama took the upper hand in the second half, Việt Nam still had their chances through counterattacks. A steal and dribble attempt from his own half by Nguyễn Văn Hiếu was finished delinquently into the back of Panama’s net and gave Việt Nam the lead in the seventh minute of the second half.
Panama piled shot after shot at Hồ Văn Ý, but the brave goalkeeper and his defence stood firm and protected their narrow lead to give Việt Nam their first win in the tournament.
Panama need a miracle win over Brazil to keep their second-round hopes alive, while Phạm Minh Giang’s men must try to avoid defeat against the Czech Republic, who was beaten 4-0 by Brazil later Thursday night. VNS