|High fives all around: Vietnamese players celebrate their victory after beating Malaysia 3-0 in a friendly match yesterday in HCM City. — Photo tienphong.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam made a promising start to the Year of the Rooster with a 3-0 victory over Malaysia in a friendly match yesterday in HCM City.
Hồ Tuấn Tài, Nguyễn Văn Toàn and Nguyễn Công Phượng scored for the hosts.
The Malaysians tried hard but failed to break Vietnamese defense in front of a big crowd of local fans at the Thống Nhất Stadium.
Tài scored the fastest goal of his career and the fastest goal in Việt Nam’s history, finding the net within the first minute.
The striker stole the ball from a Malaysian defender to score a facile goal in the 40th second of the match. The goal encouraged the team, which dominated proceedings and scored a second goal two minutes before the break.
Phượng who was presented the captains band for the first time for the U23 squad, made a smart pass to his Hoàng Anh Gia Lai FC teammate Toàn in the box. Toàn easily converted the chance.
Phượng completed a perfect night near the end of the match with his own goal. Receiving a ball from midfielder Đỗ Duy Mạnh from the left wing, Phượng took the ball and left five Malaysians behind before tapping the ball into the far corner past goalkeeper Ahmad Syihan Hazmi Mohamed.
Malaysia also had their opportunities but their strikers were not sharp enough to convert them.
The friendly match is part of both teams’ preparations for the coming Southeast Asian Games. Việt Nam wants to win their first title, while hosts Malaysia look to keep it at home. – VNS