Wed, 29th May 2024 05:57 (GMT +7)

AFC U23 Asian Cup: Vietnam crush Kuwait 3-1 in opener

Friday, 19/04/2024 | 08:24:43 [GMT +7] A  A

The Vietnam U23 national football team started their journey at the 2024 AFC U23 Asian Cup with a 3-1 victory against Kuwait on April 17.

Vietnamese players celebrate after scoring a goal against Kuwait on April 17. (Photo: VFF)

Nguyen Van Tung opened the scoring for Vietnam in the first minute of first half added time but Kuwait equalised seconds before the interval with a penalty by Salman Al-Awadi.

It took a brace from substitute Bui Vi Hao in the second half to claim the three points for Vietnam, though the story could have been so much different for both sides.

In the 15th minute, a good opportunity came for Vietnam, as Vo Nguyen Hoang dribbled past the Kuwaiti defence and crossed low from the left side. Nguyen Van Tung and Khuat Van Khang both went for the ball and crashed into each other, sustaining minor injuries to themselves in the process.

The real drama of the match happened in the 29th minute when Khang was clearly fouled by the

i player for stealing the ball from Ebrahim Marzouq. VAR stepped in and found Marzouq stomping on Khang's thigh, and he advised referee Abdulla Al-Marri to brandish a red card.

With the man advantage, Vietnam dominated possession and created chance after chance. But it was only until the end of the first half that they found their breakthrough. In the 45th minute, Nguyen Van Truong found Tung free on the left wing with a great through pass, and an unmarked Tung finished in style with a delicate shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

However, just after the kickoff, the Vietnamese defence let Abdul Karam through inside the box, and tournament debutant Nguyen Ngoc Thang gave away a foul and conceded the penalty. Thang was shown red after VAR intervened and concluded that the 22-year-old had been denied a goal-scoring opportunity.

As Al Wadhi equalised from the spot and all of Vietnam's advantages evaporated right before the interval, forcing coach Tuấn to make three substitutions, with Hao, Nguyen Minh Quang, and Nguyen Manh Hung coming on for Khang, Hoang, and Tung.

Vietnam was given a gift from Kuwait's captain Ali Marzouq, as the goalkeeper fumbled a backpass, and the ball was stolen by Hao, who put the ball into the empty net and reclaimed Vietnam’s lead in the 48th minute.

In the 55th minute, Quang had an empty net to shoot, but the striker did not take the shot and chose to dribble for a moment, with his final shot blocked by the Kuwaiti defence. Though his teammate scored with the rebound, the goal is disallowed as a player was offside in the lead-up play.

As the game dragged on, Vietnam played better and were in complete control despite being down to ten men. In the 76th minute, 2023 V-League Young Player of the Season Nguyen Thai Son hit a great pass that found Hao free inside the box. Though the ball was hit without power, Ali Marzouq was unable to save it, and Vietnam extended their lead.

Hoa's double sealed the 3-1 victory and a crucial three points for Vietnam in Group D. The Golden Star Warriors now lead the group, having scored one more goal than Uzbekistan, who won their opener 2-0 against Malaysia.

Vietnam will face Malaysia on April 20.

Source: Nhan Dan