AFF Suzuki Cup 2020

Woodwork denies Vietnam in 0-2 loss to Thailand

Thursday, 2021-12-23 21:44:18
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Vietnam midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai hits the woodwork twice during their semi-final first leg against Thailand on December 23. (Photo: Vnexpress)
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NDO – Woodwork denied Vietnam twice as the Golden Star Warriors suffered a 0-2 defeat against Thailand in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 semi-final at Singapore’s National Stadium on December 23.

Forward Chanathip Songkrasin scored twice in the first half to give Alexandre Polking’s side the upper hand ahead of the return leg in three days’ time.

The match started out with lightning pace, with both sides pressuring right from the first whistle.

It was the Thai team who got off the mark in the 13th minute when Nguyen Phong Hong Duy slipped and could not stop the ball in a fast counterattack deployed by Alexandre Polking’s side, enabling Chanathip to burst down and beat goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh in a one-on-one to open the scoring.

After the unexpected goal, Vietnam proactively intensified their attacks seeking to equalise.

Things became tougher for the Golden Star Warriors as Thailand doubled their advantage 10 minutes later. Chanathip was again the star of the show playing one-two with a teammate before firing a low shot past the Vietnamese keeper.

Thailand's Chanathip Songkrasin celebrates completing his double. (Photo: Vnexpress)

Despite falling two goals behind, Park Hang-seo’s side still fought patiently and came within inches of pulling back a goal late in the first half when Nguyen Quang Hai’s wonderful freekick was unluckily denied by the post.

Vietnam again came close to finding their first goal six minutes after the hour mark as substitute Ha Duc Chinh rolled a clever pass back to unmarked Nguyen Quang Hai whose shot rattled the crossbar.

In the 80th minute, Vietnam wasted a clear-cut opportunity, with substitute Phan Van Duc racing onto Quang Hai’s clever through ball and driving a shot off the far post.

Two minutes later, Thailand were awarded a penalty following Duy Manh’s infringement over Supachai in the box, but goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh denied Chanathip a third goal in the match.