AFF Suzuki Cup 2018: 5 key stats from 2nd leg of the final between Vietnam and Malaysia

After the dust settled, Vietnam were crowned as 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup champions as they beat Malaysia over two very exciting legs.

Both teams deserved their places in the final of the competition but in the end, the Golden Dragons proved to be too much and now they’ve cemented their legacy after winning the second AFF Suzuki Cup title in their history in the competition.

On the other hand, Malaysia have a lot to be proud of after overcoming odds to finish as runners-up in the competition.

Here are a few key stats in the second leg of the competition.

FOULS (31 TOTAL)

The first leg of the match between the two teams was very physical – in fact they had 35 total fouls in 90 minutes. That’s a foul almost every three minutes of action!

In the second leg, the same intensity was expected between the two as Malaysia looked to press the action while Vietnam needed to answer back and stop any potential attack.

Action was everywhere on the pitch with 19 fouls called on the visitors and 12 from the hosts.

In fact, there were 10 yellow cards issued through the contest, and one red card in the dying moments of the match for Malaysia.

OFF SIDES (2 for VIETNAM, 0 for MALAYSIA)

This is an odd stat to include but there’s much to be discussed with off sides.

First would be the only goal in the second leg of the game which came from Anh Duc as it counted but appeared to be off sides.

With that said, the team that didn’t really need to score a goal had two off side calls for them and the Malayan Tigers, who needed to score goals had zero.

Now this does not reflect directly on how Malaysia failed to make chances, but given the way they surrendered the first goal of the match, the Malayan Tigers maybe could’ve pushed for more and catch a break to bring them back to the game.

GOAL KEEPER SAVES (5 by VIETNAM)

Given Vietnam’s strength in the defensive end, Van Lam was incredible throughout the night as he made five saves to eventually help Vietnam win their first AFF Suzuki Cup title in 10 years.

The chances that Malaysia had to try and get back into the game, they still had to deal with the Vietnamese keeper and he proved to be up to the task.

POSSESSION (42 per cent for VIETNAM, 58 per cent for MALAYSIA)

In the second leg, Malaysia enjoyed a slight advantage on the possession as they had it 58 per cent of the time.

Ironically, this is roughly the same ratio in the first leg where they were able to score two goals. However, this time, they were unable to convert any of these chances to goals as the Vietnamese defence was just much better and up to the task.

In fact, despite having more possession, Malaysia had nine total shots, five on target. That’s the same number for Vietnam who had three on target and six off.

If the Malayan Tigers were more clinical and took advantage of the time they had the ball, the result may have been different.

SCORE (1-0 VIETNAM)

Of course, the most important statistic of all is that Vietnam scored and won the second leg.

Many believed that the Golden Dragons were going to concentrate on defence as a draw would see them as winners after doing what they should in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

However, they caught the vistiors off guard with an early attack that resulted in a goal in the 6th minute.

There may be controversy whether it was off sides or not, but the goal stood and it gave them the cushion throughout the rest of the match that eventually became the difference.

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