Vietnam drew Malaysia in the first-leg final of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2018, which took place at the Bukit Jalil national stadium in Kuala Lumpur on December 11.
Vietnamese players cheer their first goal in the match. Photo: Tuoi tre
Vietnam led in the first half, but did not play as well as they started in the remaining part of the match.
At the 22nd minute, Vietnam scored the first goal after Nguyen Huy Hung got a tap in after a Malaysia player failed to clear the ball.
Just two minutes later, Pham Duc Huy kicked a stunning long shot to score the second goal for Vietnam.
At the 35th minute, Malaysia shortened the deficit with a header from Mohd Sadd.
Ha Duc Chinh had three chances to score at the 30th, 43rd and 44th minute, but he did not succeed.
The first half ended at 2-1 for Vietnam.
Into the second half, while Vietnam missed many opportunities, Malaysia equalized the score from a free kick at the 59th minute.
The match ended 2-2. Vietnam will meet Malaysia again at the My Dinh National Stadium on December 15.
Vietnam entered the finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 after defeating the Philippines 2-1 in the return leg of the semifinal, which took place at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium on December 6. The squad also beat the Philippines 2-1 in the first leg held in Bacolod city of the Philippines four days earlier.
Malaysia become the first finalists after a 2-2 draw with the defending champion Thailand in the second leg of their semifinal in Bangkok on December 5. Previously, they had a 0-0 draw with Thailand in the first leg held in Kuala Lumpur on December 1.
In the tournament’s history, Vietnam won the championship just once in 2008. Under the leadership of coach Park Hang-seo and the current squad, both Vietnamese and Korean football fans are hopeful that Vietnam will take the trophy for the second time after 10 years’ waiting.