|Nguyễn Hoàng Đức celebrates his goal to help Việt Nam beat Indonesia 2-1 in the Southeast Asian Games yesterday. Photo soha.vn
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam’s U22 team secured a dramatic 2-1 comeback win over Indonesia in the Southeast Asian Games to go top of Group B.
South Korean coach Park Hang-seo had promised to name his strongest XI for the game at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila and didn’t disappoint, with stars Nguyễn Quang Hải, Đỗ Hùng Dũng and Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng all starting.
The first half was in truth a dull affair, with a lot of huff and puff from both sides but little quality, and indeed the opening goal came due to a mistake, not a moment of inspiration.
Việt Nam goalkeeper Bùi Tiến Dũng made the fatal error 22 minutes in, as he flapped at a high cross into the box and palmed the ball onto the crossbar, allowing Sani Rizki Fauzi to head home from all of a yard.
Seconds after the restart Việt Nam’s Hùng Dũng had the ball in the Indonesia net, but it was disallowed by the referee.
Perhaps cantering to 6-0 and 6-1 victories in their first two games over Brunei and Laos respectively lulled the Vietnamese into a false sense of security, but regardless, with the quality on the pitch, they should have given a better account of themselves in the first period, which ended 1-0.
Coach Park clearly lit a fire under his players and they started much better after the break, with half-time substitute forward Hà Đức Chinh providing some spark.
The equaliser came in the 63rd minute from a Dũng corner which defender Nguyễn Thành Chung flicked into the far corner, leaving Indonesia goalkeeper Nadeo Argawinata with no chance.
As the game wore on Việt Nam stamped their dominance on the affair and were camped out in their opponent’s half, and while they had all the ball, it looked like a moment of magic would be needed to breach the solid Indonesia defence.
That magic came in the 91st minute through Nguyễn Hoàng Đức, who picked the ball up about 25 yards out and fired a left-footed rocket past Argawinata.
The final whistle blew minutes later, leaving Việt Nam on nine points and atop Group B, three ahead of Thailand and Indonesia in second and third, respectively.
Việt Nam’s next match is against Singapore on Friday, where a win will likely ensure qualification for the semi-finals. VNS