|Full throttle: Vietnamese striker Mac Hong Quan (front) vies for the ball against a Malaysian defender during their friendly match yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam defeated Malaysia, 3-1 in a friendly match at My Dinh Stadium here yesterday.
The hosts easily dominated the game though the visitors scored the first goal, with Amri Yahyah kicking the ball into the net after a counterattack at the 23rd minute.
Muslim Ahmad nearly doubled the score four minutes later when Vietnamese defenders failed to co-ordinate and communicate with each other, leaving a lot of space for their rivals.
The hosts had an opportunity near the end of the first half, but striker Nguyen Hai Anh's 5m-shot was off.
In the second half Mac Hong Quan replaced Anh and levelled the score at the 46th minute.
Playmaker Nguyen Van Quyet made a smart pass that went through all of the Malaysian defenders' legs and reached midfielder Le Tan Tai in the box.
Tai, one of the most experienced Vietnamese players, made a straight shot that touched Malaysian goalie Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and bounced to Quan, who easily tapped the ball in.
Ahmad later received a red card when he tried to stop Quyet's solo performance near the box.
After Ahmad's send-off, Malaysia changed its play and focused on defence, giving
the entire field to the hosts who scored their second goal at the 56th minute. Quyet later scored a goal from a penalty shoot-out.
Coach Toshiya Miura of Viet Nam shuffled his players throughout the match, giving Quyet a rest and national top striker Le Cong Vinh a chance to stop his goal drought.
Vinh did not score, but he created a threatening opportunity for teammate Ngo Hoang Thinh, another substitute, to make it 3-1 at the 81st minute.
The match was a final test and practice for the two teams, who will both take part in the ASEAN Football Federation-Suzuki Cup that kicks off on November 22.
Viet Nam will play in Group A as the hosts here while Malaysia will compete in Group B in Singapore. — VNS