|Triumph: Viet Nam footballers celebrate their 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei in the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers. — Photo coutersy of K+ clip
HA NOI (VNS) — Substitute Tran Phi Son scored a crucial goal during the third injury time to help Viet Nam seal a 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei in the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers yesterday.
The goal sparked crazy celebrations from more than 7,000 Vietnamese fans at the Municipal Stadium in Taipei. They're holding onto the hope of winning a berth at the World Cup 2018 in Group F.
In the last rapid attack in the 93rd minute, Son grabbed an accurate pass from striker Le Cong Vinh to net the ball in Viet Nam's last hope when the match was a 1-1 draw.
Having held a goalless draw in the first half, Chinese Taipei fired stormy attacks on Viet Nam while seeking their first goal, with a home turf advantage.
Striker Chen Hao Wei had a clear chance to score a goal in a face-to-face with Vietnamese goalie Nguyen Manh just two minutes into the second half time, but the Taiwanese striker could not beat his opponent.
Japanese coach Toshiya Miura rearranged his team then, focusing on quick counter-attacks and close-range teamwork. It paid off.
In the 54th minute, Vinh took a header from Pham Thanh Luong's corner kick to hit the post, but defender Dinh Tien Thanh hit the rebound to the back of the net, beating Taiwanese goalkeeper Chiu Yu Hung.
Shocked after the first loss, Taipei launched more attacks on Viet Nam to equalise the game.
Wei Yu Jen fired a rocket in the 57th minute, but the shot was blocked by Vietnamese keeper Nguyen Manh.
Chen Po Liang then took a header to the target, but it went out above the bar.
Striker Nguyen Van Quyet would have scored his first goal in the match if his 20m range shot did not go wide in the 59th minute.
Viet Nam's coach added striker Vo Huy Toan to strengthen the offense.
In the 79th minute Taiwanese Xavier Chen headed a corner kick to the target, but defender Que Ngoc Hai parried at the goal line, saving for Viet Nam.
But Viet Nam's poor defence in the last minutes of the game created several chances for Taiwan.
Substitute Wu Chun-ching, who was unmarked by Vietnamese defenders, headed home in the 83rd minute from his teammate free kick.
But super substitute Son made magic for Viet Nam when he trailed an accurate pass in the penalty box to tip the ball in.
Viet Nam, who lost to Thailand 1-0 in the group opener, earned three points from the win after two matches.
As scheduled, Viet Nam will host Iraq on October 10 before playing Thailand on October 13.
The team will meet Taipei in the second-leg match in Ha Noi on March 24 before playing against Iraq next year.
In another group match yesterday, Iraq were held to a 2-2 draw by Thailand at their home stadium.
Thailand still led the group with seven points after a 1-0 win over Viet Nam and Taipei (2-0).
Iraq ranked second in the group with four points after two matches.
The group winners and next four best (12 teams in total) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The 24 next-best teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup. — VNS