Vietnam remain unbeaten in the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they cruised to a 3-1 win over Indonesia on Tuesday for their second win in as many games.
Fresh off a 1-0 triumph over Malaysia last Thursday, Vietnam headed into the Group G clash at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium as favourites against bottom-placed Indonesia, who had lost their three previous qualifiers.
Following a fairly even opening period, it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Doan Van Hau met Nguyen Tien Linh’s flick-on from a corner and headed the ball back across the face of goal.
Although he was perfectly positioned to deal with the threat, Indonesia captain Yanto Basna could only stop the ball right in front of the goal-line, paving the way for an opportunistic Do Duy Manh to poke the ball home from close range.
Vietnam then doubled their advantage ten minutes after the restart when Que Ngoc Hai coolly sent Muhammad Ridho the wrong way from the spot, after another costly mistake by Basna saw him give away a penalty for rashly sliding in on Do Hung Dung.
And just six minutes later, Vietnam went on to seal the win as Nguyen Trong Hoang played an incisive through-pass to Nguyen Tien Linh, who beat the offside trap to race through and confidently finish into the roof of the net.
Indonesia did to pull one back with six minutes remaining when Riko Simanjuntak embarked on an enterprising run down the left and, despite slipping over in the area he managed to poke a pass through to Irfan Bachdim, who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
But the goal would have been scant consolation for Garuda with their campaign already looking in severe jeopardy, while Vietnam continue to push on in search of a top-two finish that would see them advance to the next round of qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup as well as qualify automatically for AFC Asian Cup 2023.
INDONESIA: Muhammad Ridho, I Putu Gede, Otavio Dutra, Yanto Basna, Abduh Lestaluhu, Evan Dimas, Bayu Pradana, Riko Simanjuntak, Stefano Lilipaly (Irfan Bachdim 82’), Saddil Ramdani (Wawan Febrianto 57’), Beto Goncalves (Lerby Eliandry 85’).
VIETNAM: Dang Van Lam, Do Duy Manh, Que Ngoc Hai, Bui Tien Dung, Nguyen Trong Hoang (Nguyen Phong Hong Duy 87’), Do Hung Dung, Pham Duc Huy, Doan Van Hau, Nguyen Quang Hai, Nguyen Van Toan (Nguyen Viet Phong 67’), Nguyen Tien Linh (Vu Van Thanh 75’).
Photo credit: Asian Football Confederation