Hosts earn first victory at Agribank Cup
Goals in each half by Phung Cong Minh and Nguyen Quang Hai, respectively, earned the Vietnam under-23 team the first victory at the invitational…
Goals in each half by Phung Cong Minh and Nguyen Quang Hai, respectively, earned the Vietnam under-23 team the first victory at the invitational football tournament/Agribank Cup.
The hosts, with many changes to the squad that lost 2-1 to Olympic Uzbekistan in the opening game, beat Under-23 Zimbabwe 2-0 at the My Dinh national stadium on November 3.
The victory will be boost for the Vietnam under-23 team in the final match with Olympic Finland on November 5.
In an earlier match, Olympic Uzbekistan won a crucial match over Olympic Finland to be in a good position to win the tournament. The Uzbeks won 2-0.
Vietnam coach Alfred Riedl made six changes to the squad that lost 2-1 to Olympic Uzbekistan two days ago as he wanted to test his squad for a more important event, the forthcoming 24th SEA Games.
Zimbabwe, who lost 3-2 to Olympic Finland in their opening game after taking a 2-0 lead before half-time, were the better side in the opening stage.
Doan Viet Cuong was forced to clear off the line after two minutes after a bicycle kick by a Zimbabwe player.
However, it was hosts Vietnam who took the lead. Anh Duc paid Mr Riedl”s faith in him by setting up Cong Minh for his first goal for the Vietnam under-23 team. Anh Duc broke in the Zimbabwe box before producing a good cross for Cong Minh to slot home from close range.
Five minutes later, Vietnam should have doubled the lead but Tien Thanh, unmarked, blasted over the bar.
The two sides played an end-to-end game with Vietnam coming close again before half-time when Viet Cuong was denied by the woodwork.
After the break, Quang Thanh and Quang Hai were brought on for Tan Tai and Anh Duc.
Quang Hai, who had a successful tournament with the under-21 team, scored his first goal for the under-23 team on 76 minutes.
Cong Minh pinpointed a long ball to release Quang Hai, who broke into the box before fired home the second goal.
Skipper Phan Thanh Binh tried his luck with a powerful finish from outside the penalty box, but only to see it was turned away by the Zimbabwe goalie.