Việt Nam top Group B with easy win against Myanmar

January 03, 2023 - 22:07
Việt Nam's next match will be the semi-final first-leg game against Indonesia on Friday in the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Hồ Tấn Tài (13, red) and teammates brought joy to fans at home with a 3-0 victory to top group B. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết

Anh Đức

HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam national football team progressed into the knockouts of the 2022 AFF Cup as Group B winners after a 3-0 victory at home against Myanmar.

Strikers Phạm Tuấn Hải and Nguyễn Tiến Linh silenced critics after a dismal performance in Singapore last Friday by scoring two goals in the first half. Substitute midfielder Châu Ngọc Quang also made his mark and scored his first senior goal.

Park Hang-seo brought on what was perhaps Việt Nam's strongest eleven, which included the return of the polarising Đoàn Văn Hậu, who some pundits criticised for aggressive behaviour during the game against Malaysia.

Antoine Hey's Myanmar were already eliminated after their 2-2 draw against Laos but still looked to spoil the Việt Nam's hopes of progressing, though putting seven goals past the Golden Star Warriors in Mỹ Đình always seemed unlikely.

Indeed Myanmar did show signs of danger in the first opening minutes, grabbing the first shot on target and making it somewhat difficult for Đặng Văn Lâm and his defence.

But Myanmar's aggression in attack only lasted a mere eight minutes before Việt Nam slowly got the momentum back and opened the scoreline.

Hà Nội FC teammates Đỗ Hùng Dũng and Văn Hậu combined to create space for their club captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết, who sneaked past the Myanmar defence and found Phạm Tuấn Hải on the near post. Tuấn Hải's backheel was deflected by Kyaw Zin Lwin to his own net and brought joy to thousands at Mỹ Đình.

Myanmar looked to reply just minutes later when Lin Htet Soe fired from a distance, almost capitalising on a mistake by Văn Lâm. The ball was just inches wide.

Việt Nam slowed down play and waited for opportunities on the counter in the latter part of the half. From one such chance, again from the left wing, Đoàn Văn Hậu crossed in deep, forcing Min Latt to parry the ball. The Myanmar keeper's punch was without power and rebounded right at Tiến Linh's feet, who only had an empty net and scored.

With a victory and first place surely in the bag, Park looked to rest his key players before boarding the plane to Jakarta. However, the Vietnamese players' ability and class were still too much for Hey's men to handle.

The Golden Star Warriors claimed nearly sixty per cent of possession and seventeen shots, with around seven clear-cut chances on goal in the latter part of the second half.

Park's men only found their third in the 73rd minute, after a great flick-pass from substitute Nguyễn Hoàng Đức that found another sub, Châu Ngọc Quang, with the goal in sight.

After some adjustments, Quang fired a powerful shot into Min Latt's top corner to make it 3-0 for Việt Nam.

Myanmar pushed on forward to grab a consolation, but their efforts created opportunities on the counter for which Việt Nam favours. Myo Min Latt had to leave his box three times during the final minutes, but Ngọc Quang, Tuấn Hải and Văn Quyết could not capitalise. Tuấn Hải even had only an empty net in his sight, but his shot was cleared just in time by a defender. The match ended with an easy victory for the men in red.

Elsewhere in Group B, Malaysia also found four goals to beat neighbours Singapore 4-1 at home and progress as Group B runners-up. They will face Thailand in the semi-finals.

"We played well. Although we struggled during the first minutes, we soon found composure," said goalscorer Nguyễn Tiến Linh after the match. "Currently, my injury is not too severe, and I will have a rest before the semi-finals. Indonesia is good but we have prepared well to face them."

Việt Nam's next match will be the semi-final first-leg game against Indonesia on Friday in the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. — VNS