Việt Nam beat Philippines to keep World Cup qualification hopes alive

June 06, 2024 - 21:46
Just as Vietnamese fans' hopes dimmed, Phạm Tuấn Hải scored in the final minutes to ensure a Việt Nam victory.
Việt Nam (red) secured their first victory in 2024 against Philippines who made the home team work for it. VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Anh

Anh Đức

HÀ NỘI An emotional rollercoaster ride took place at Mỹ Đình national stadium on Thursday, as the Việt Nam national football team beat the Philippines by three goals to two in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Group F.

Việt Nam went behind after Patrick Reichelt scored on the counterattack, but an immediate brace from Nguyễn Tiến Linh saw the Golden Star Warriors go ahead before Sebastian Ingreso equalised for the away team.

Just as Vietnamese fans' hopes dimmed, Phạm Tuấn Hải scored in the final minutes to ensure a Việt Nam victory.

Thursday's match was Kim Sang-sik's first as Việt Nam's new head coach, after Philippe Troussier departed in March.

And it seemed that the relics of the Troussier era were gone, as previous starters Filip Nguyễn, Nguyễn Thái Sơn were benched in place of Đặng Văn Lâm and Nguyễn Hoàng Đức.

Việt Nam have not scored in their last three matches in the World Cup Qualifiers, and with the home advantage, the men in red pushed forward from the early minutes in the first half. A warning was made right in the second minute for Neil Etheridge, as Captain Đỗ Hùng Dũng fired a shot from around thirty metres which fell just wide.

Kim Sang-sik's men were the better team in the first half, with plenty of possession, but the finishing of the strikers lacked finesse.

Philippines, on the other hand, saw two dangerous chances, as misplaced passes brought Zico Bailey and Dylan Demuynck through on goal, but Đặng Văn Lâm's crucial saves kept the score goalless before the break.

Coach Kim brought on Phan Tuấn Tài to replace Khuất Văn Khang in the second half to freshen up the attack.

But before the substitution paid off, the hosts were dealt a blow, after a counter attack from the Philippines. In the 62nd minute, a mistake by centre back Đỗ Duy Mạnh saw the ball fall to Reichelt, who went through on goal and beat Văn Lâm at the near post.

Việt Nam did not relent and immediately fired back just three minutes later. A clever pass from Hoàng Đức found Văn Toàn, who crossed in for Tiến Linh to shoot at the empty net, and equalise for Việt Nam.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Việt Nam were revitalised after the equaliser and kept pressing forward. In the 76th minute, substitute Tuấn Tài's cross met Tiến Linh inside the box, who headed home powerfully.

Philippines, despite shaken after conceding the second goal, slowly reclaimed their composer. From a set piece, Kevin Ingreso fired a volley into the back of the net to make it 2-2 in the 89th minute.

Despite the clock ticking, Kim Sang-sik's men did not give up. In the 96th minute, substitute Nguyễn Tuấn Anh shot from outside the box, which made Etheridge spill the ball. The rebound found Tuấn Hải, whose powerful shot sent Mỹ Đình into a frenzy.

The time was not enough for further drama, and the match ended 3-2 to Việt Nam.

With this result, Việt Nam are still in third place with six points, one point behind Indonesia who earlier lost to Iraq by two goals to nil.

The Golden Star Warriors still have a chance of getting through to the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers if they beat Iraq on June 12 and Indonesia lose to the Philippines. VNS