Vietnam are through to the quarter finals of the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup after a 2-0 win against Malaysia at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Uzbekistan on June 8.
The Golden Star Warriors secured their qualification for just the second time ever thanks to goals from Nham Manh Dung and Bui Hoang Viet Anh.
Coach Gong Oh-kyun replaced five players in the starting line-up from the game against the Republic of Korea, mostly in the midfield.
The new blood in the Vietnam side went to work quickly, with high presses right in the first minute. But the first dangerous chance went to Malaysia, when keeper Quan Văn Chuan was forced to clear the ball with his head outside the box.
The rebound reached Quentin Cheng, whose lobbed effort towards an empty goal went over the bar.
Malaysia had to replace one of their key player when Umar Hakeem limped off in the 17th minute, after he injured himself landing badly.
Vietnam continued to exert enormous pressure, and Nham Manh Dung, the SEA Games final hero, had a couple of good chances but Firdaus Irman brilliantly saved.
But Dung and Vietnam did not have to wait long for their glorious moment. On the 28th minute, Thanh Nhan's speedy run down the left wing led to a cross for Dung inside the box. The striker rose above the Malaysian defence and headed home the opening goal.
Malaysia immediately replied with a dangerous shot from Aiman Afif that blazed over the bar, but that was the men in gold's last dangerous effort.
Only one minute later, Manh Dung was through on goal and his lobbed effort went over the keeper and looked destined for the net but the Malaysian back tracked and made the save.
As the first half neared the end, Vietnam pressed on and had chances for Hai Long and Manh Dung. But the most dangerous effort came in the first minute of added time, when Quang Nho was through on goal. The Hai Phong midfielder's Cruyff-esque turn forced Hairley Hakim to make a sliding challenge, but the Malaysian defender touched the ball with his hand.
VAR immediately notified referee Dilan Perera and after five minutes of investigation, the Sri Lankan pointed to the spot and brandished a straight red to Hakim.
Captain Bui Hoang Viet Anh took to the spot kick, and although his penalty was saved, the rebound went straight to the defender to easily tap in for Vietnam's second goal. The first half ended with a comfortable 2-0 lead to Vietnam.
Although with a one man advantage in the second half, Vietnam could not find more goals.
As the clock ticked, Vietnam passed the ball between themselves in a tiki-taka style putting their extra man to good use.
Malaysia faded and offered little in terms of a comeback as the game drew to a close.
Elsewhere at the Bunyodkor Stadium, the RoK beat Thailand by one goal from Ko Jae-hyeon. With these results, Vietnam and the RoK advanced to the quarter finals, with the RoK finishing in Group C's first place and Vietnam in second.
On June 12 the Golden Star Warriors will face Group D's winner in the quarter finals, either Saudi Arabia or Japan.