Việt Nam continue winning ways in U20 Asian Cup Qualifiers

September, 17/2022 - 07:43
After beaten Hong Kong (China) 5-1 in their opening match on Wednesday, Việt Nam sit top of Group F level with hosts Indonesia.


Thanh Nhàn (11) celebrating his bizarre goal that opened up the scoring for Việt Nam. — Photo VFF

Anh Đức

SURABAYA — Việt Nam U20s thrashed Timor Leste by four goals to nil in their second match of Qualification group F on Friday.

After beaten Hong Kong (China) 5-1 in their opening match on Wednesday, Việt Nam sit top of Group F level with hosts Indonesia.

Coach Đinh Thế Nam's men needed a similar performance to pressure Indonesia, who they will face in the ultimate showdown on Sunday for first place, as well as an automatic qualification spot.

The Young Warriors started off with waves of attack towards Timor Leste's defence, and got the opening goal in the tenth minute. From Đinh Xuân Tiến's free kick, the ball deflected off Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn's back and went into the top corner.

Việt Nam got their second goal just four minutes later. After a one-two with Nguyễn Quốc Việt inside the box, Vĩ Hào sprinted past the opposition defence and hit a shot from a tight angle to double the lead.

An additional call-up to the squad, Vĩ Hào travelled to Indonesia immediately after finishing his match in Round 16 of the V-League on Tuesday. The young striker's presence was all over the pitch, with multiple chances created for him in the first half, but Hào could not capitalise and the first half ended 2-0.

In the second half, Timor Leste lowered their defensive line to keep Vietnamese attacks at bay. The strategy seemed to work as the Vietnamese struggled to find the space they craved for short passes and one-two plays.

Coach Nam subbed Quốc Việt, swapped Thanh Nhàn and Vĩ Hào but the changes did not immediately work.

Việt Nam almost paid for their complacency in defence in the 54th minute, when Quintao put Mota through on goal. Defender Nguyễn Hiểu Minh was quick to narrow the angle and Mota fired the ball over the bar.

Việt Nam replied ten minutes later when Thanh Nhàn was through on goal. Instead of passing to Vĩ Hào who is well-positioned, Nhàn took the shot himself, which blazed over the bar.

It took captain Khuất Văn Khang's appearance late in the game for Việt Nam's to become more fluid, however the strikers were impatient and chances were not taken well.

Việt Nam's third goal came seven minutes before full-time, through a mistake from Timor Leste keeper Noqueira whose poor punch fell to Nguyễn Xuân Bắc, who fired in the empty net for his debut goal.

Two minutes later, it was Noqueira again who fumbled and misplaced a pass, which was intercepted by Nguyễn Anh Tú, who found Văn Khang free and the captain fired home, capping off a solid 4-0 victory for the men in white.

In the later match in Surabaya, Indonesia comfortably beat Hong Kong  5-1, with the hosts scoring three goals in the first half after a great display of modern attacking football.

With these results, Indonesia and Việt Nam are even on points and goal difference, as well as goals for and against, and are heading for the final showdown on Sunday evening for first place to determine the automatic qualifying spot to the 2023 U20 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan.

Coach Nam's men will aim for a good performance result against the home side. Should Việt Nam draw or lose, they will have to wait for results from other groups to know whether or not they qualify for the 2023 U20 Asian Cup. — VNS