Vietnam let a lead slip and settled for a draw with Myanmar in the first group B game at the 2022 AFF Futsal Championship.
After a great run at Futsal World Cup last year, Vietnam are favored to advance from group B after Australia.
However, Myanmar showed that they are not walkovers. They didn’t attack often or hold the ball long, but good connecting helped them forge a tight defense.
Even in their long range attempts, Vietnam rarely threatened Myanmar’s goal.
In the first five minutes, three different formations of Vietnam entered the field. But only the first created sharp synergies thanks to Nguyen Minh Tri’s experience and creativity in the pivo position.
In the 6th minute, Vietnam had their first shot on target but it was not powerful enough to beat the Myanmar goalkeeper Kyaw Htet Aung.
In the 13th minute, Vietnam took advantage of a counterattack to open the scoreboard.
Chan Thai Huy opened a pass to the left flank for Nguyen Thinh Phat to assist Nhan Gia Hung. The two Myanmar defenders coudn’t intercept the pass allowing Gia Hung to put one into the far post.
Vietnam could have doubled the lead right after if Nguyen Manh Dung was more composed when he received the ball bouncing off Myanmar goalkeeper.
After the break, Vietnam continued to put pressure on Myanmar. Gia Hung hit H.M.Tun’s foot and then it bounced off the post, while Thai Huy and Thinh Phat could not beat the goalkeeper.
Myanmar were able to equalize following a controversial referee decision in the 26th minute. After Manh Dung cleared the ball cleanly, referee said it was a foul.
From the freekick spot just 10 m away from goal, Maung Maung Soe made no mistake, easily beating keeper Ho Van Y.
Vietnam still had over 13 minutes to re-establish the lead, but some of their players showed signs of tiredness.
Coach Pham Minh Giang didn’t use the power play option. Meanwhile, Myanmar seemed to have greater physical and mental strength. They committed five fouls in the second half, but knew how to avoid a penalty, while Vietnam received two yellow cards in trying to stave off dangerous counterattacks.
The draw puts Vietnam in a must-win position against Timor Leste in the next match Tuesday. They will face Australia in the final group B round Wednesday. If they rank second in group B, there is a high chance that Vietnam will face Thailand in the semifinals. After the first two matches in group A, hosts Thailand are dominating with two wins, scoring 26 goals and not conceding even one.
The top three teams from this tournament win tickets to the 2022 Futsal Asian Cup.
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