The Vietnam team lost 0-2 to host China in a friendly match in Dalian
On the evening of October 10, the Vietnam team had an international friendly match on FIFA Days with the China team at Dalian Sports Center stadium. This is also the first match of coach Philippe Troussier and his team in the final preparation phase before the FIFA World Cup 2026 Asian Qualifier.
Coach Philippe Troussier continues to take advantage of the friendly match to test the squad. Besides the veteran players, a number of new faces appeared in the starting lineup. Accordingly, the two full-back positions of the Vietnam national team are held by Tien Anh and Viet Hung, alongside the trio of midfielders Tuan Tai, Duy Manh and Ngoc Hai. The three central midfielders include Hoang Duc, Hung Dung and Tuan Anh, while Van Toan and Tuan Hai play on the attack. On the other side of the front line, China launched its strongest formation in the 3-4-3 formation with 3 attacks including Tan Long, Wu Lei and Xie Pengfei.
According to statistics, the Vietnam team controlled the ball more throughout the match. At one point, Mr. Troussier’s team held nearly 70% of the ball on the field. However, the Vietnam team has not left many marks in the organization of the siege. The bad pitch caused the Vietnam team (as well as the China team) to unfortunately often lose the ball. Perhaps for this reason, Mr. Troussier’s team did not have many small coordination phases. Instead, the Vietnam team often flicks the ball long in organized defenses against the opponent’s goal.
Admittedly, these situations helped Mr. Troussier’s team have at least two dangerous situations, but the strikers could not take advantage of them. In addition, we must also mention Tuan Hai’s solo play in the 27th minute. Having the ball from the midfield line, this striker dribbled the ball past China’s defenders and then penetrated into China’s penalty area, but very quickly. Unfortunately, Tuan Hai’s shot went wide of the post. In the second half, the Vietnam team rarely had as sharp a shot as in the first half, so it was understandable that they could not penetrate the home team’s goal.
The home team did not control the ball much, but they were very proactive in organizing the defense. It can be seen that China’s ball progression relies on the wingers’ strong acceleration and accurate kicks. Meanwhile, the attacking trio Tan Long, Wu Lei and Xie Pengfei have good height, especially Tan Long, so China often throws the ball high to perform aerial duels.
This can be considered a test against high balls for the defenders of the Vietnam national team. To some extent, this test did not bring results for Mr. Troussier when there were many turbulent situations in China that put the Vietnam team’s goal on alert. For example, in the 34th minute, from a direct free kick, Tan Long jumped high and headed after the helplessness of Ngoc Hai and his teammates but fortunately put the ball into Vietnam’s goal.
However, errors in defense caused Mr. Troussier’s team to concede 2 goals in the second half. The first was in the 55th minute when the Vietnamese players could not keep up with a ball at the border, leading to the throw-in for China. From this combination, the Vietnamese defenders lacked concentration, allowing Lui Yang to cross the ball from the left wing, creating an opportunity for Wang Quiming to catch the ball alive and score a goal for the hosts. In the last minute of the match, Hoang Duc unfortunately lost the ball and Wu Lei stole it before defeating the defenders in the defensive line, then fired the shot to score the goal that set the score 2-0 for China.
This failure left unhappy feelings for Vietnamese spectators. However, it is a necessary lesson for the Vietnam team to improve themselves in the journey of preparing for the second qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup.