Al Ain: Vietnam kept their hopes of progressing to the Round of 16 of the AFC Asian UAE 2019 alive on Wednesday as Park Hang-seo’s side handed Yemen a 2-0 defeat at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium that ensures a nervous 24-hour wait for the Southeast Asian side.
Vietnam finished third in Group D and the three points they accumulated from the win over Yemen means they have surpassed the two amassed by Palestine in Group B in the quest for one of the four spots awarded to the best third-placed teams.
However, they now sit behind Kyrgyz Republic on goal difference, meaning the Central Asian side have advanced.
The Vietnamese must now await the outcome of the meetings between Lebanon and DPR Korea in Group E and the Group F encounter between Oman and Turkmenistan before knowing if they will extend their stay in the United Arab Emirates.
Both sides knew a win would give them the opportunity to go through to the next phase and a tense opening 30 minutes saw neither side impress. Indeed, it was a flash of ill-discipline that ultimately cost the Yemenis the opening goal.
Mudir Al Radaei involved himself in a needless altercation with Nguyen Cong Phuong to concede a free-kick, picking up a yellow card from referee Ahmed Abu Baker Al Kaf, and from the resultant free-kick the Vietnamese took the lead.
Quang Hai, so often the architect of much of Vietnam’s positivity, was the man to deliver again, the Hanoi FC midfielder stepping up to send his left-foot strike from 25 yards curling away from Salem Al Harsh and into the top corner of the goal.
With Park’s team needing to win by three clear goals to be certain of securing a place in the Round of 16, the onus was on the Vietnamese to continue to press in the final third of the pitch.
Ten minutes into the half, a slick move started by Do Hung Dung’s angled ball down the right allowed Nguyen Trong Hoang to pull his cross back to Cong Phuong, only for his shot to be blocked by the Yemeni defence. Seconds later, Hung Dung’s shot was collected by Al Harsh.
Yemen continued to present a threat on the break. Ahmed Al Sarori outpaced Doan Van Hau before firing a right foot shot that flew across the face of goal.
Four minutes after the hour mark, though, Vietnam added the second from the penalty spot. Phan Van Duc burst past Abdulaziz Al Gumaei, surging into the box before the Yemeni defender wrestled him to the ground, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Ngoc Hai calmly slid the spot kick home.
Vietnam continued their quest for that vital third goal but ran out of time and now must wait to see if they advance to the Round of 16.
Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE