National squad held to a draw by U22 team in second friendly match

Monday, 2020-12-28 10:07:21
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National team striker Nguyen Cong Phuong (no. 10) in action during the match. (Photo: VFF)
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NDO – The Vietnamese U22 team continued to deliver an exceptional show by holding the national squad to a 2-2 draw in their second friendly match at Viet Tri Stadium in the northern province of Phu Tho on December 27.

The national team deployed their strongest power with a series of key players returning to the starting line-up, including Cong Phuong, Quang Hai, Van Duc, Tuan Anh and Hung Dung.

Given their superior level, the national squad dominated ball possession and produced four shots in the opening 25 minutes. However, Hung Dung, Van Thanh and Cong Phuong all failed to find the back of the net.

Despite playing on the back foot, Vietnam U22s suddenly cruised ahead thanks to Bui Hoang Viet Anh’s close-range attempt in the 29th minute.

Yet, their advantage only lasted two minutes before the referee awarded the national team a penalty following Cong Den’s foul on Quang Hai in the box, and Van Thanh made no mistake from the spot to bring the match back to the starting line.

Inspired by the equaliser, the national team increased pressure placing their juniors in defence. A few minutes before halftime, Van Duc assisted Quang Hai to slot past Xuan Hoang to gift the senior side a 2-1 lead.

In the second half, the U22 team strengthened their attacks and created several opportunities to score, but it was not until the 84th minute that their efforts were compensated. Taking advantage of the national team’s defensive mistake, Viet Cuong burst down and fired a shot at Van Hoang, with Thanh Minh scoring from a rebound to restore parity for Vietnam U22s.

Earlier, in their first friendly on December 23 at Quang Ninh Province’s Cam Pha Stadium, the national team came from behind to beat the Vietnamese U22 squad 3-2.

These two friendly matches are part of Vietnam’s preparations for the 2022 World Cup AFC qualifiers, the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020, the 2022 AFC U23 Championship qualifiers and the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2021. The proceeds from all ticket sales will be used to support flood victims in the Central and Central Highlands regions.