Nguyễn Đức Chiến (middle) battles for the ball against two Jordanian players. Việt Nam played out a goalless draw yesterday against Jordan in the AFC U23 Championships in Thailand. VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Linh
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam played out a bore of a goalless draw against Jordan in the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championships in Thailand on Monday.
The result at Buriram Stadium means the Golden Dragons have to defeat North Korea to advance to the quarter-finals and hope the United Arab Emirates-Jordan result goes their way.
Việt Nam's coach Park Hang-seo opted for a more conservative team for the crunch Group D match after the 0-0 raw with the United Arab Emirates on Friday, dropping striker Hà Đức Chinh and defender Huỳnh Tấn Sinh in favour of right-back Hồ Tấn Tài and midfielder Trần Thanh Sơn.
The changes helped the Vietnamese side shore up a defence which put in a shaky performance against the UAE on Friday, but left them wanting on the attacking side.
The first half was a truly dull affair, with neither side able to string together a sequence of cohesive attacking play for any significant length of time.
The first chance of note fell to Jordan in the 19th minute, as defender Hadi Al-Hourani found himself all alone in the box after a Vietnamese mix-up, but goalkeeper Bùi Tiến Dũng saved the low shot with his leg.
The Jordanians came close again 15 minutes later, but Yazan Al-Naimat headed just wide from a superb Ali Olwan cross.
Into the second half coach Park made a positive change by replacing Sơn with Chinh, but the forward was unable to make a big enough difference to break the deadlock.
In the 63rd minute it was Olwan's turn to waste a chance, as he blazed a volley over the bar with the goal at his mercy after a delicious ball had been whipped in from the right.
All night Việt Nam's final ball was lacking and star man and captain Nguyễn Quang Hải failed to impose himself on the occasion.
Hải did manage one superb pass in the 83rd minute to find Nguyễn Tiến Linh in the box, but the Becamex Bình Dương forward's shot was blocked.
Shortly afterwards Việt Nam had a series of corners and put Jordan under a semblance of pressure, but in truth they never looked like scoring.
The full-time whistle will have left both teams disappointed, Jordan as they had the chances to win, and Việt Nam as they had left themselves a lot to do in the final group match.
Coach Park's men take on North Korea in the final match of the group stages on Thursday night, knowing they must win to go through, and win by at least two goals if Jordan and the UAE draw.
Viet Nam News will live blog the match on our website and Twitter page. — VNS