Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Lê Công Vinh kept his promise and did a good job to help Việt Nam beat Syria 2-0 in an international friendly match yesterday in Hà Nội.
Vinh, in a press briefing prior to the match on Monday, had said he would do his best as a striker, and opened the score in the 34th minute of the match.
Midfielder Phạm Thành Lương broke through the left wing before sending a perfect pass to the box where the three-time Golden Ball holder awaited and headed straight to the net.
The second goal went to Nguyễn Văn Quyết who just returned to the national team after his five- month ban.
Midfielder Lương Xuân Trường who joined his teammates from South Korean Incheon United made a smart pass to Quyết who ran into the box, leaving the Syrian defenders and goalkeeper behind, to tap in at the last seconds of the first half.
Coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng who highly appreciated his rivals in the press conference found a good solution for his small-sized players against the big built and tall Syrian opponents.
His team had only three chances in the first half of which they converted two.
Thắng made seven changes to test his different formations for further tournaments but none worked as well as the first one.
Quế Ngọc Hải netted a goal in the 68th mark but it was not recognised as he was in the off-side trap.
Later Hoàng Đình Tùng wasted a threatening chance when he was in a one-two situation with Syrian keeper Ibrahim Almeh.
On the other side, Syria also had their opportunities but goalie Trần Nguyên Mạnh did a good job, blocking all paths into his net.
Coach Thắng looked very satisfied with his win as he entered the meeting room with a smile.
“I am totally pleased with my players and their techniques, and the spirit with which they performed today,” Thắng said.
“Syria are one of the top Asian teams who will compete for their berth in the World Cup. But it seemed that their players had peaked as they had just finished their domestic league so they were not at their best. So, the result is not important, but what I care about is our playing style, good defence and sharp attacks, against a stronger team,” he said.
Coach Ayman Alhakim of Syria said his players showed off only 30 per cent of their capacity last night.
He said it was the first international match for the team after their domestic season ended. War in the country prevented them from competing while there were several players with injuries. His team was also exhausted.
The coach also complimented midfielder Trường and Nguyễn Tuấn Anh, who are both playing abroad due to their outstanding performances.
He said the duo created space for teammates, which made it difficult for the Syrian side. They contributed a lot to Việt Nam’s win.
The friendly was both Việt Nam’s and Syria’s activity in their preparation for their upcoming tournaments.
Việt Nam will leave for a four-nation tournament in Myanmar from June 3 to June 5. Their most important event will be the ASEAN Football Federation Cup in November.
Meanwhile Syria will continue with two other friendly games before taking part in the last qualification round of the 2018 World Cup in September. – VNS