“Vietnam maintained their perfect start to the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation Championship on Friday as Park Hang-seo’s side beat Malaysia 2-0 at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium”, Reuters wrote.
In its article “Vietnam maintain perfect start with win over Malaysia”, Reuters highlighted contributions made Nguyen Cong Phuong and Nguyen Anh Duc. It said Phuong gave Vietnam a “flying start” when he clipped the ball home after Anh Duc’s miss-kick in the penalty area with 11 minutes on the clock. In the second half, Anh Duc scored one more goal to double Vietnam’s advantage.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s New Strait Times described the Vietnamese team as “golden dragons”, who is now at World No.102, 67 steps higher than Malaysia’s position.
The newspaper’s article, titled “Harimau fall at Golden Dragons’ lair in Hanoi”, mentioned the vibrant atmosphere roared on by a 40,000 capacity crowd at the My Dinh Stadium.
The article said Malaysian goal-keeper Khairul Fahmi, who previously shut out Vietnam twice in the AFF Cup semi-finals in 2010 and 2014, could not protect his net from devilish shots of Phuong and Duc.
In its ratings given to players in the match, Fox Sports gave nine points to Nguyen Anh Duc thanks to his art of moving without the ball, and ability to look for opportunities. It said “On a day when his team really needed him, Nguyen Anh Duc delivered”. Meanwhile, Quang Hai who did a good job in midfield, and Cong Phuong, who opened the scoring in the 11th minute, were all marked 8.
In the Malaysian team, Shrel Fikri received lowest points. Despite 69 percent of ball possession, Fikri and his teammates could not shot a single goal. Fikri must have done better in his ability, Fox Sport said.
On November 8, Vietnam beat Laos 3-0 in its first match of Group A, with goals by Cong Phuong, Anh Duc and Nguyen Quang Hai. Meanwhile, Malaysia previously defeated Laos and Cambodia.
The AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 is taking place from November 8 to December 15 with 26 matches among 10 teams. Vietnam’s national football team is in Group A together with fellow South East Asian teams, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
This year, the AFF Suzuki Cup will feature a new playing format, with both home and away ties. Vietnam will play Myanmar on November 20 and face Cambodia four days later.