CNN Indonesia said despite having the worst result among four Southeast Asian teams in the Asian Cup this year, Vietnam deserve praise for scoring four goals against Japan and Iraq.
The news site rated Thailand the highest among Southeast Asian teams, as they ranked second in Group E and went undefeated in the group stage without conceding a goal. This is the first time Thailand were unbeaten after three group stage matches and the second time they got past the group stage.
Thailand beat Kyrgyzstan 2-0 in the opening match, then played defensively to draw 0-0 with both Oman and Saudi Arabia.
In these goalless draws, the team of coach Masatada Ishii only had 30% possession. The result helped Thailand enter the round of 16 where they will face Uzbekistan. According to U.K. sports analytics firm Opta, Thailand has a 36% chance of winning this match.
CNN considers Vietnam the worst among the four Southeast Asian teams in this Asian Cup. The team of coach Philippe Troussier lost all three group stage matches and were the first team to exit the tournament.
“However, Vietnam’s performance deserves praise because they scored two goals each against Japan and Iraq,” CNN Indonesia wrote.
Vietnam lost 4-2 to Japan in the first round, despite leading 2-1. The team had a disappointing display when they lost 1-0 to Indonesia in the second round and were eliminated.
In the final round, despite equalizing 2-2 in the 90th minute with 10 men against Iraq, Vietnam ended up losing 3-2 in the final minute of injury time.
Vietnam won the fewest points among Southeast Asian teams but scored the most goals. However, at the end of the group stage, Thailand and Indonesia advanced, while Vietnam and Malaysia went home.
In the round of 16, Indonesia only have a 19% chance of defeating Australia, according to Opta.
Vietnam had the highest average possession among Southeast Asian teams, with 45.3% per match, compared to Thailand’s 35%, and Indonesia and Malaysia with 34.7%.
This highlights the team’s playing style under coach Troussier, compared to the previous coach Park Hang-seo.
Besides Vietnam, there are two teams that didn’t win any points at the tournament: Hong Kong and India.
Vietnam’s statistics are better than these two teams, because Hong Kong only had one goal, and India didn’t score any.
Another team that failed to score was China, but they claimed two points from two 0-0 draws.
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