Two away goals crucial for Vietnam into AFF Cup final return leg

Update: 16:46 | 13/12/2018
Although the 2-0 lead was cancelled out to a tie 2-2 with Malaysia in the first leg match of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 final, at Bukit Jalil Stadium on December 11, Vietnam still hold the advantage with two crucial away goals, and they will be back home to play the deciding final return leg at Ha Noi’s My Dinh Stadium on Saturday knowing that they have thousands of home fans behind them.
TIN LIÊN QUAN
two away goals crucial for vietnam into aff cup final return leg AFF Cup final – chance for Vietnam, Malaysia to come to throne
two away goals crucial for vietnam into aff cup final return leg AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 final tickets sold online

After the draw in Kuala Lumpur, international media expressed regret as coach Park Hang-seo's side could not maintain their 2-0 lead, gained after the first 25 minutes, being forcing to a draw with the resurgent hosts in a dramatic game. Media agencies around the Asia have reported on the exciting match with four goals divided equally between the two sides, in which Vietnam is considered the more dominant side ahead of the return leg, thanks to two away goals.

FOX Sports Asia reported that Malaysia faced a lot of difficulties to penetrate into the visitors’ defensive line, who had conceded only two goals before the final first leg. “The Golden Dragons easily dealt with the Malaysian attacking duo of Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Zaquan Adha. The two experienced frontmen were completely played out of the game, leaving the home side with a disadvantage,” they said.

two away goals crucial for vietnam into aff cup final return leg
Huy Hung (L) and Duc Huy help Vietnam temporarily hold the advantage with two crucial away goals ahead of the AFF Cup final return leg. (Photo: AFF Suzuki Cup)

Malaysia, however, was fortunate to score two goals from two dead ball situations. Shahrul Saad headed in a brilliant Syamer Kutty freekick near the end of the first half, before Safawi Rasid produced magic from a set-piece in the second half to level at 2-2. Malaysia made good use of the two opportunities they had in dead ball situations, which according to FOX Sports Asia, are “one of the few problem areas of the Vietnamese side”. Vietnam have now conceded three of their four goals from a set-piece, it added.

On Goal, writer Ooi Kin Fai evaluated that Vietnam produced a more attacking display that what fans would have been accustomed to in the competition this year and Malaysia struggled to cope with the precision and sharpness of the visitors on the night. Two goals from Huy Hung and Duc Huy were resulted from the reasonable tactics from Park’s players, although they did not earn a lion share’s of ball possession. If Duc Chinh and Tien Linh were more clinical, Vietnam would have scored more goals. Malaysia fought back to make it 2-2, however, Vietnam can still be satisfied as the result is on par with what they expected before the match. "The draw means that Vietnam will go away from this match the happier of the two teams, knowing full well that they will have a noisy home crowd behind them at My Dinh Stadium for them to finish the job," Goal said.

two away goals crucial for vietnam into aff cup final return leg
If Duc Chinh (C) had been more clinical, Vietnam would have scored more goals in the first leg match of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 final. (Photo: AFF Suzuki Cup)

Reuters also agreed that Vietnam will go into December 15’s return leg in Ha Noi as favourites, thanks to their two away goals as both nations attempt to win the regional title for the second time.

Meanwhile, although very happy with their home team performance to level 2-2, Malaysian media have to admit that Harimau Malaya will still have a lot of work to do in the return leg in Ha Noi. The Malaysian National News Agency - Bernama said that the upcoming match at My Dinh will not be easy for Malaysia.

Sharing the same viewpoint is the article titled "The thorny path for Tigers" on The Star. The newspaper said the Malaysian team will have to "climb a mountain" in the final second leg after the 2-2 draw on their home field. The two away goals give an advantage to help Vietnam play more comfortably in the upcoming match at My Dinh, it said.

two away goals crucial for vietnam into aff cup final return leg
In addition to the two away goals, Vietnam also have an advantage from the support of tens of thousands of home fans at Ha Noi’s My Dinh Stadium in the upcoming final return leg. (Photo: AFF)

Commenting on the team's chances of winning the championship title, Bhania said Malaysia's AFF Suzuki Cup campaign will be a difficult one after the 2-2 draw at Bukit Jalil. Malaysia will need a "miracle in Hanoi" to happen again, as it did in a 4-2 win in the 2014 AFF Cup semi-finals, to advance to the final with an aggregate result of 5-4.

The draw with two away goals can be seen as a huge advantage for Vietnam in the return leg. Just a minimum of a 0-0 or 1-1 draw at My Dinh is enough for Park and his players to win their second AFF Cup. But Malaysia will not easily give up as shown in the first leg, as well as in the two-leg semi-finals against Thailand earlier. The draw makes “the return leg a highly anticipated affair which Vietnam will be confident of winning. Malaysia, however, won't be lacking in confidence either,” as said in an article on the Asian Football Confederation's website.

two away goals crucial for vietnam into aff cup final return leg PM sends letter to football team ahead of AFF Cup finals

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on December 8 sent a letter to encourage the national football team before their participation in the final first leg ...

two away goals crucial for vietnam into aff cup final return leg Vietnam vs Malaysia 2018 AFF Cup Final

Vietnam and Malaysia have set up the final of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup following their respective semifinal victories over the Philippines and Thailand. Park ...

two away goals crucial for vietnam into aff cup final return leg Park Hang-seo thanks players for a great match

Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo extends his thanks to the players for their significant efforts and brilliant game against the Philippines during a press briefing held ...

(Source: NDO)