2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers

International media praises Vietnam's excellent form after 3-1 win over Indonesia

Wednesday, 2019-10-16 06:32:33
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Vietnam bag their second successive victory in the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – The Indonesian press cannot hide the disappointment as their national team continued to suffer another defeat in the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, this time a 1-3 loss to “excellent Vietnam” at home.

>>> Vietnam extend unbeaten run with 3-1 win over Indonesia

Losing to coach Park Hang-seo’s side at Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Bali last night, Indonesia continued to sink deep to the bottom of Group G after four consecutive defeats. This caused the press of this island nation to become discouraged by the poor performance of the home team.

Immediately after the match, Bola Sport posted a review, in which author Hugo Hardianto Wijaya wrote: "Indonesian national team humiliated 1-3 by Vietnam." The article described that the visitors were completely superior during the first half, while Indonesia repeatedly made mistakes and often lost the ball when they had just entered the field of Vietnam.

The corollary is that Duy Manh's opening goal for Vietnam came in the 26th minute, followed by a "disaster" in the second half for Indonesia as Yanto Basna brought down Do Hung Dung in the penalty box in the 54th minute to grant Vietnam a penalty and captain Que Ngoc Hai easily doubled the lead from the spot. "The score at 2-0 added to Vietnam’s superiority," Bola Sport admitted, while blaming the home team for not focusing on reinforcing the defence and for continuing to let Vietnamese players freely launch attacks.

The article on Bola Sport about Indonesia's humiliating defeat to Park Hang-seo’s side. (Screenshots capture)

After Tien Linh widened the gap to 3-0 in the 61st minute, Indonesia's efforts only earned them a consolation thanks to a goal from substitute Irfan Bachdim in the 84th minute. Vietnam held on to wrap up the match at 3-1, which Bola Sport had to recognise as an excellent performance by the visitors. Indonesia were lucky not to concede more in the last minute of injury time as Hung Dung was unable to defeat goalkeeper Muhammad Ridho in Vietnam’s second penalty. " With this result, Indonesia has extended their bad record, losing all the last four matches in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers," wrote Bola Sport.

On Indosport, author Arief Tirtana also admitted a sad fact: “The defeat that made the Indonesian national team the only team [in Group G] that have not got a point, at the same time made the position of Simon McMenemy's team increasingly slumped at the bottom of the standings.”

Indonesia has three goals but conceded 14 others in the last four matches in the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. After the three defeats to Malaysia, Thailand and UAE, local supporters were no longer eager to go to the stadium to support the home team in the match against Vietnam last night. According to Indosport, only about 8,000 tickets were sold, including 250 tickets for Vietnamese fans to the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium, although its capacity is nearly 23,000 seats. "Indonesia is currently slumped at the bottom of the Group G standings in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. With a minimum number of supporters, steps taken by Simon McMenemy's team have become increasingly difficult. Because the support of supporters is vital for their struggle," Indosport said.

Meanwhile, FOX Sports Asia is worried about the future of McMenemy in Indonesia. A wave of protest demanding that the Scottish strategist resign has emerged since the defeat against Thailand and another defeat at the hands of Vietnam will make it difficult for McMenemy to retain his seat. “It was Indonesia's fourth defeat in four matches, causing their World Cup qualifying campaign seem to have ended even before it had begun. Coach McMenemy will have to be the main person responsible. Indonesia has conceded 14 goals and only scored three goals in four matches, but the coach has not yet found the right play for the team. After the defeat in Malaysia and Thailand, McMenemy's future was discussed at the Indonesian Football Federation meeting last month. And after losing to Vietnam, football authorities in this country will probably be forced to take action,” wrote FOX Sports.

For the Vietnamese team, this is a pivotal victory in the race to 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 the AFC Asian Cup 2023. The Golden Dragons will have more confidence when returning to the home field to welcome the UAE (on November 14) and Thailand (November 19) in the next two matchdays.

Que Ngoc Hai has “sweet revenge” against Indonesia. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

For captain Que Ngoc Hai, FOX Sports said that the goal from the spot in the 3-1 victory over Indonesia was also a sweet "revenge" for the defender individually, after he and his teammates were eliminated by Indonesia in the semi-final second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016. In that match, goalkeeper Nguyen Manh received a red card and left the field, forcing defender Que Ngoc Hai to replace because the Vietnamese team had already used all three of their substitutes. However, the reluctant goalkeeper’s foul on Beny Wahyudi in the extra time cost his side the match as Manahati Lestusen converted from the spot to make it 2-2 and send Timnas to the final after a 4-3 win on aggregate. In the last match against Indonesia last night, FOX Sports said that the “the Viettel defender buried the ghosts of that match by doubling Vietnam’s lead form the penalty spot in the 55th minute.”

In Park's home country the Republic of Korea, the local press also made positive comments about the victory of Park Hang Seo's side. Daily newspaper Hankook Ilbo commented: “The victory led Vietnam to escape the swamp of the recent bad record in Indonesian matches (4 draws and 4 losses). It's been 20 years since the 1-0 win of Vietnam in the Southeast Asian Games in August 1999.”

“This game, which takes place in the preliminary stage of the World Cup, attracted more attention. It was the first game against Indonesia since Park Hang-seo's appointment, and attention was focused on whether Park could break the jinx. As Park affirmed Vietnam would win, it was the first victory over Indonesia in 20 years in an official competition. As a result, Vietnam have two important wins in the World Cup qualifiers. The dream of qualifying for the World Cup final qualifiers grows even bigger,” Hankook Ilbo wrote.

The convincing victory of Park’s players also received praise from Thailand's Siam Sport: "The Vietnam national team continued to show strong form, defeating the Indonesian national team 3-1 to win the second consecutive match and have seven points in Group G."

Vietnam ranked second in Group G after Thailand. (Photo: Google)

Having excelled to beat UAE 2-1 at home, Thailand also have seven points and sit at the top of Group G due to the superiority in goal difference compared to second placed Vietnam. Meanwhile, the UAE fell to third with six points after three matches, followed by Malaysia with three points.

TRUNG HUNG