Striker Nguyen Quoc Viet’s goal helped Vietnam win 1-0 against Australia in the opening game of group B in U20 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan on Monday.
Viet’s early goal in the 6th minute made it easier for Vietnam in the rest of the match. The team played defensively to protect the lead and claimed three points against a strong opponent.
Viet’s stunner came from the counter-attack initiated by Khuat Van Khang. He dribbled and finished in the near corner, beating goalkeeper Jack Warshawsky.
After conceding early, Australia pushed forward to find an equalizer. They had 67% possession in the first half, creating many chances from the flanks. But the passes inside the box of full-back Joshua Rawlins were blocked by defender Le Nguyen Hoang and the close-range headers of striker Gabriel Popovic could not defeat goalkeeper Cao Van Binh.
Vietnam had the opportunity to extend the lead in the first half, when Nguyen Thanh Nhan’s header caused a challenge for the Australia keeper.
In the second half, Vietnam continued to keep their stamina to maintain a balanced game. Despite having less possession, Vietnam did well on duels, kept a tight formation and kept Australia players out of the box.
While Australia only had one shot in the last 45 minutes, Vietnam created many dangerous counter-attacks, but their shots went off target. Vietnam even had more shots on goal than the opponent.
Australia’s short ball coordination lacks cohesion, which did not give them many relevant chances. At the end of the game, Australia players were impatient and constantly made the wrong passes and committed fouls. Thanks to that, Vietnam were not under much pressure and were able to protect the lead.
The first three points in group B helped Vietnam take a little advantage before playing Qatar and Iran in the next games. If Vietnam advance to the quarterfinals and continue to win there, they will win a ticket to the U20 World Cup, which will take place in May.
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