31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Jan 13, 2023 / 22:51

Vietnam hold Thailand for a draw in the AFF Cup final first leg

Thailand led the match on Friday but a screamer by substitute right wingback Vu Van Thanh rescued Vietnam from a home-field loss.

Vietnam scored a late equalizer to hold the away team Thailand for a draw in the AFF Mitsubishi Cup 2022 final first leg on January 13 at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi, with right wingback Vu Van Thanh playing as a super-sub.

Thai players celebrate their equalizing goal in the AFF Cup 2022 final first-leg against Vietnam on January 13. Photo: Nhu Dat/The Hanoi Times 

Vietnam qualified for the final as the team with the most stalwart defense, conceding no goals after all six matches.

Meanwhile, Thailand had the most clinical attackers, having scored a total of 16 goals before the final stage.

In the familiar 3-5-2 formation, Vietnam started the final first leg in confidence with only one change from their semi-final win over Indonesia.

Vietnam began the match in confidence as the midfield trio – Do Hung Dung, Nguyen Hoang Duc, and Nguyen Quang Hai – played well to control the game.

Vietnam tried to attack on the right side of the field. In the 24th minute, central defender Que Ngoc Hai went forward and received a side-switching pass from midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc. He then made a perfect cross into Thailand’s box for striker Nguyen Tien Linh to score a powerful diving header, thus breaking the deadlock.

After conceding the goal, Thailand was calm enough to retain the ball and push Vietnam deep into their own half.

Both teams had some opportunities but they failed to score. As the first half of the game was near the end, Thailand had a direct free-kick after the referee fined Vietnam’s center-back Hai for handball.

Thailand’s captain Theerathon Bunmathan had a thunder strike that hit the bar of Vietnam’s goal.

As soon as the second half began, Thailand unexpectedly raised the tempo and had their equalizing goal in the 48th minute by forward Poramet Arjviral.

In the 53rd minute, Vietnamese left wingback Doan Van Hau had a low cross into the box. The ball deflected off a Thai defender and went straight to the goal but the goalkeeper reacted well to push it out.

Thailand continued to control the game and midfielder Sarach Yooyen put the ball into Vietnam’s net in the 63rd minute. The away team then slowed down to retain the ball. Vietnamese players were unable to find their way to Thailand’s goal.

In the 88th minute, right wingback Vu Van Thanh scored a screamer from outside the box to level the game for Vietnam.

In the 4th added minute, playmaker Do Hung Dung mistakenly sent the ball away, allowing Thailand to start a counterattack and had a one-on-one chance, however, goalkeeper Dang Van Lam incredibly denied the goal.

The match ended with a 2-2 scoreline. With this result, Thailand will have some advantages in the second leg as they have had two away goals for themselves.

Vietnam’s head coach Park Hang-Seo told the post-match press conference that the two goals conceded in the match are definitely not a good condition for Vietnam.

He admitted that Vietnamese players did not play well. “We have to fix it.”

“We will not give up. We want to win in Thailand,” he said.

Thailand’s coach Manuel Polking said that the final score was better than expected and that Thailand will do their best in the second leg.

The final second leg between Thailand and Vietnam will take place on January 16 in Thailand.