AFF Suzuki Cup 2020

Vietnam crash out of AFF Cup despite goalless draw with Thailand

Sunday, 2021-12-26 21:36:03
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Vietnam become the former champions of the AFF Suzuki Cup after losing 0-2 on aggregate against Thailand.
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NDO – Vietnam held Thailand to a goalless draw in the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 semi-final on December 26, but it was not enough to salvage their title defence campaign as the War Elephants advanced to the final match with an aggregate 2-0 victory.

Vietnam headed into the Sunday match knowing that they must beat the Thais by a margin of at least two goals in order to keep their chances of advancing alive.

Park’s players demonstrated their determination by proactively pressuring from the first whistle.

It took the 2018 champions just four minutes to produce the first threat, with Quang Hai blasting a quick fire from close range that found the position of goalkeeper Chatchai Bootprom.

The playmaker then sent a number of clever passes to teammates to pour constant pressure on Thailand’s goal.

The Golden Star Warriors should have gone ahead in the 28th minute when Quang Hai curled a subtle long pass to put Tien Linh in a one-on-one with Chatchai Bootprom, but the Thai goalkeeper decisively dashed forward to make a timely rescue.

The attempt also forced Chatchai off injured and replaced by Siwarak Tedsungnoen.

In the remainder of the first half, Vietnam again missed two golden opportunities to get off the mark, with Quang Hai’s powerful freekick being saved by Siwarak (37’) and Ho Tan Tai’s header skidding off the post (45’).

After the interval, forwards Nguyen Cong Phuong and Nguyen Van Toan came off the bench as Park sought to intensify their attacking power.

Vietnam remained the better side, with Quang Hai coming inches within of breaking the deadlock in the hour mark, but his wonderful freekick was smartly saved by Siwarak.

With time running out, the Thai goalkeeper continued to perform brilliantly preventing Vietnam’s attempts from being successfully converted.

Vietnam (in white) demonstrate an excellent fighting spirit but could not finish off chances to reverse the game.

The stalemate was kept unchanged until the final whistle despite the concerted efforts made by the Golden Star Warriors.

The result meant Park’s side became the former champions, while Thailand will meet Indonesia in the title decider on December 29 (first leg) and January 1, 2022 (second leg).

VAN TOAN