AFF Suzuki Cup 2020

Vietnam beat Laos 2-0 in AFF Suzuki Cup opener

Monday, 2021-12-06 21:28:55
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Vietnam (in white) play a dominant game against Laos. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – Two goals by Nguyen Cong Phuong and Phan Van Duc handed Vietnam a sweet start to their 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup journey as the reigning champions comfortably beat Laos 2-0 in their Group B opener at Singapore’s Bishan Stadium on December 6 night.

Considered the stronger side, it came as little surprise as Vietnam enjoyed the lion’s share of possession throughout the match.

After the first 30 minutes, the Golden Star Warriors managed to produce six attempts on goal compared to just one from the Lao side, with Luong Xuan Truong rifling a long-range strike closely over the bar in the 11th minute and Nguyen Tien Linh firing a shot just wide of the goal five minutes later.

In the 19th minute, Vietnam found the back of the net as Tien Linh slotted home after taking a cross from Ho Tan Tai. However, the goal was disallowed as Tan Tai was ruled offside by the referee.

Park Hang-seo’s side needed only seven more minutes to get off the mark thanks to Cong Phuong’s close-range attempt from Hong Duy’s brilliant pass.

Vietnamese players celebrate after Cong Phuong opens the scoring. (Photo: VnExpress)

The remainder of the first half saw Vietnam maintain their control of the game with Tien Linh and Hoang Duc threatening to add a second goal.

Vietnam remained the dominant side after the break and extended their lead in the 55th minute, with Phan Van Duc powering in an unstoppable header from Tan Tai’s right-wing cross.

Vietnam striker Nguyen Cong Phuong in action during the match (Photo: VnExpress)

Laos wasted a golden chance to pull back a goal in the 73rd minute as anticipated forward Billy Ketkeophomphone, who is playing in France’s Ligue 2, failed to beat goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh in a one-on-one after taking a through ball from a teammate.

Vietnam was handed a penalty shortly later following a Lao defender’s handball in the box. However, Vu Van Thanh missed out on a third goal for the reigning champions as his spot kick was saved by goalie Keo-Oudone Souvannasangso.

It was Keo-Oudone who again denied another Van Thanh attempt in the 84th minute struggling to flick the 25-year-old’s long-range shot over the bar.

Vietnam's Phan Van Duc (#20) in action.

With the comfortable victory, Vietnam provisionally stand second in Group B, behind Malaysia who trounced Cambodia 3-1 in another match the same day.

Next up for Park Hang-seo’s troops will be a clash against reigning runners-up Malaysia on December 12.

In Group A, Singapore thrashed Myanmar 3-0 on Sunday to claim top spot, while Thailand temporarily take second place following a 2-0 win over Timor Leste.

VAN TOAN