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|Nguyen Cong Phuong dribbles through Malaysian players. (Photo: VNA)|
Hanoi - Vietnam rose to top of group B at the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 with a 3-0 victory over Malaysia at Bishan Stadium in Singapore on December 12 night, securing six points after two games.
Vietnam put on a strong performance in a game where their opponents Malaysia did not have many options for players, with four infected with COVID-19 and one injured.
In the second minute, Vietnam got an early chance when Nguyen Cong Phuong shot over the bar from close distance.
Most of the spectators on the stand were Vietnamese fans, who created a vibrant atmosphere for the game and helped boost the spirit of players.
In the 10th minute, it was Nguyen Cong Phuong again as he put pressure on Malaysia defense and the keeper had to make a clearance.
Vietnam constantly made long passes from their side to the opponent's box and Nguyen Cong Phuong was the destination. He was the centre-forward of Vietnam in this game.
In the 32nd minute, Phan Van Duc sprinted down the left flank and passed to Nguyen Quang Hai, who made a thunderous strike with his left foot and left keeper Khairul Fahmi no chance, opening the score for Vietnam.
Just four minutes later, Nguyen Quang Hai made a backheel pass to Nguyen Cong Phuong, who dribbled past two Malaysia defenders before finishing. The ball hit the right post and went in.
Vietnam took the lead with two goals by Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyen Cong Phuong after the first 45 minutes.
Five minutes into the second half, the referee gave Vietnam’s captain Que Ngoc Hai a yellow card after he fouled Syafiq Ahmad. This player later left the field on a stretcher.
In the 54th minute, Vietnam had the first substitution, as Nguyen Tien Linh replaced Nguyen Cong Phuong, the scorer of the second goal.
In the 62nd minute, Vietnam made two substitutions: Nguyen Van Toan for Nguyen Quang Hai and Bui Tien Dung for Nguyen Thanh Chung.
Since the 75th minute, Vietnam started taking key players off the field to preserve their stamina for the next game against Indonesia three days later. Phan Van Duc was out for Luong Xuan Truong, while Ho Tan Tai replaced Nguyen Phong Hong Duy.
In the 89th minute, Malaysia lost the ball in the midfield and Nguyen Hoang Duc punished the mistake. He easily dribbled past the defender before shooting from outside the box into the left corner. It was the third goal for Vietnam.
With two consecutive wins, Vietnam temporarily top Group B, followed by Indonesia which also beat Laos 5-1 in their earlier match. Both teams now have six points but Vietnam achieved a better goal difference.
Vietnam will play against Indonesia on December 15 before facing Cambodia in the last match of Group B.