Asian media on December 6 hailed Vietnam’s 2-1 win over the Philippines in the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup semi-final return leg, which sent the team through to the final with a 4-2 aggregate victory.
Fox Sport Asia published an article saying that despite guaranteeing progression to the final as long as they didn’t concede more than two away goals, Vietnam still found a way past the resolute Philippines’ defence late in the game.
In the 83rd minute, Vietnam broke the deadlock when Phan Van Duc broke free down the left and advanced on goal before laying a ball across the face of goal to leave Nguyen Quang Hai with a simple tap-in, it continued.
Just four minutes later, they struck again to effectively kill the contest as Nguyen Cong Phuong’s attempted pass was intercepted by Adam Tull but fell kindly back into his path, paving the way for him to lash a ferocious shot past the Philippine keeper at the near post, it said.
In addition, Philippines news website rapple.com wrote the Philippines could not create a miracle in My Dinh Stadium this time, while Philippine news portal Philstar added that the team’s dream to qualify for the final was shattered with no miracle against Vietnam.
An article of Sports Seoul sports entertainment magazine of the Republic of Korea wrote that although Vietnam had less possession in the match, Korean head coach Park Hang-seo’s charges had the game under their control.
When Philippine players showed signs of physical deterioration, the team in red increased their attacks and scored two goals in the match’s last 10 minutes, it continued.
Holding the same view, Sport Talk Korea wrote that Vietnam posed threats to their rivals with their players’ individual skill.
The final first leg between Vietnam and Malaysia will take place on December 11 in Malaysia, and the return leg will be held four days later in Hanoi.
The AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 is taking place from November 8 to December 15 with 26 matches among 10 teams.
Vietnam’s only victory at the tournament came in 2008, but with the leadership of Korean head coach Park Hang-seo and the current squad, Vietnamese football fans are hopeful the team can take the trophy for a second time.