SEA Games 32: Vietnam beat Malaysia 2-1 to advance to men’s football semi-finals
The Vietnamese U22 men’s football team have booked their place in the semi-finals of the 32nd SEA Games men’s football event after edging out Malaysia 2-1 in their third Group B match on May 8 evening.
Forward Nguyen Van Tung was the star of the showing, scoring a brace to send coach Philippe Troussier’s side into the last four with a game in hand.
The defending champions got off to a flying start as they were awarded a penalty after five minutes as a result of Adam Afkar’s handball.
From the spot, Van Tung could not beat the Malaysian goalkeeper on his first attempt but did it on the rebound to open the scoring for Vietnam.
The early advantage inspired the Vietnamese side to play with great confidence, with Troussier’s players leaving no chane for Malaysia to approach their penalty area.
The gap was doubled for the title holders in the 33rd minute as Van Tung jumped high to head home Minh Trong’s cross from close range.
Shortly before the break, Malaysia managed to pull a goal back thanks to Mohd Aiman’s rebound after Vietnamese goalie Quan Van Chuan failed to catch a powerful freekick by Mumamad Aliff.
In the second half, Malaysia intensified their pressure and caused significant challenges to Vietnam’s back line with high balls.
Quan Van Chuan rescued Troussier’s troops two minutes after the hour mark by saving Najmudin’s close-range shot.
With 10 minutes left to play, Malaysia had to play with 9 men after Safwan and Najmudin were shown red cards in the 79th and 82nd minute. Such a disadvantage prevented them from turning the tide.
The 1-2 defeat meant Malaysia officially bid farewell to their SEA Games 32 journey, while Vietnam joined Thailand to surge into the semi-finals as Group B’s top-two teams.
Troussier’s side will play Thailand in their last group match on May 11 to compete for Group B’s top spot.