Football: Vietnam, Myanmar on course to make Suzuki Cup semis

The Vietnam squad greets fans following their victory against the Malaysian team 1-0 during the AFF Suzuki Cup Group B soccer match in Yangon on Nov 23, 2016.
The Vietnam squad greets fans following their victory against the Malaysian team 1-0 during the AFF Suzuki Cup Group B soccer match in Yangon on Nov 23, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

YANGON • Vietnam established themselves as one of the favourites to win the AFF Suzuki Cup yesterday, following an impressive 1-0 win over Malaysia.

A fine individual goal by Nguyen Trong Hoang with 10 minutes to go put Vietnam on course to make the semi-finals with two wins from two games in Group B.

Vietnam looked quicker and more fluid and, after a tame and tactically careful first half, they stepped up the tempo and had numerous chances in the second.

Malaysia did well to contain the talented Vietnamese for much of the game but in the end they were under too much pressure in a crucial match for both sides.

Now Malaysia, who beat Cambodia 3-2 in their opening match, need nothing less than three points in their final group game against co-hosts Myanmar, who beat Cambodia 3-1 yesterday, to qualify for the semi-finals.

Vietnam, who defeated Myanmar 2-1 in their opening game, need only a draw against minnows Cambodia on Saturday to progress.

Yesterday, at the Thuwunna YTC Stadium in Yangon, Cambodia took an early lead through Sos Suhana.

However, a quick-fire brace from Zaw Min Tun and a second-half strike from Aung Thu capped off a superb comeback victory for Myanmar.

The win lifted Myanmar to second place in Group B, level on three points with Malaysia but with a better goal difference of plus one.

They need just a draw against Malaysia in Saturday's final Group B game to ensure a first Suzuki Cup semi-final berth since 2004.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Vietnam, Myanmar on course to make semis'. Print Edition | Subscribe