SINGAPORE - Malaysia's hopes of advancing to the SEA Games football semi-finals were left hanging by a thread, after Vietnam romped to a 5-1 win in their Group B clash at Bishan Stadium on Tuesday night.
Brimming with verve and vigour, Vietnam attacked the Malaysian defence relentlessly, led by forward Nguyen Cong Phuong, who produced a masterful performance which is bound to trouble even the likes of defending champions Thailand.
The 20-year-old forward won two penalties in the 14th and 46th minute, which were converted by Mac Hong Quan and Vo Huy Toan respectively. Sandwiched between both goals was a clinical finish of his own on the stroke of half-time.
Vietnamese fans were then up on their feet applauding when Phuong notched a 25-yard free-kick stunner on the 54th minute, beyond the despairing reach of Malaysia's goalkeeper Mohd Farhan Abu Bakar.
Malaysia pulled one back in the 78th minute when Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim scored but a minute later Nguyen Van Toan netted to ensure it would end with a five-star display from Toshiya Miura's charges.