Asian media regretful as Vietnam drop points to UAE in AFC U23 Championship opener

Saturday, 2020-01-11 10:27:16
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Tien Linh (R) missed a golden chance to score a winner at the end of the match.
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NDO – The continental media proved to be quite regretful as Vietnam U23s only got a draw with UAE U23s in their Group D opening match of the AFC U23 Championship 2020 on January 10.

>>> Vietnam, UAE play out a goalless draw in AFC U23 opener

As the favourites for the two tickets to the knockout phase from the group, both teams were determined to win when they played each other at the Chang Arena in Buriram, Thailand, yesterday evening, creating quite a lot of scoring opportunities. Most notably, in the last few minutes of the match, Tien Linh and Viet Anh unfortunately missed two golden chances to decide the match.

Watching coach Park Hang-seo’s side drop two points in their opening game, FOX Sports Asia considered it quite a pity. In an article looking back on five highlights after the match, writer Adwaidh Rajan said that, despite no goals, the match was an entertaining 90 minutes of football and featured some brilliant attacking plays, defensive solidity and also a penalty that was struck down by the VAR.

“It was Vietnam who began the game on the front foot while the UAE were still trying to find some footing. Nguyen Tien Linh was fed by Nguyen Quang Hai inside the box in the 12th minute, which required some last-ditch defending from Khalifa Al Hammadi to deny Park Hang-seo’s boys. Minutes later, Vietnam could have taken the lead had Ha Duc Chinh or Huynh Tan Sinh got the slightest of touches to a corner kick flicked on towards the far post”, said FOX Sports Asia.

The most unfortunate, still, was the golden opportunity which Tien Linh missed in the 86th minute. Vietnam played brightly in the last minutes of the second half, overwhelming the opponents and continuously creating a range of good opportunities to score. Unfortunately, the “Golden Stars” were not decisive in finishing. If there was a goal at this stage, the victory was almost secured for Vietnam.

“Vietnam almost stole a victory in their trademark style during the dying minutes of the opener, but Emirati goalkeeper Mohamed Al Shamsi denied Park Hang-seo another one of those smash-and-grab wins. Quang Hai, who had limited impact in the second half, danced into the box in the 86th minute and tried to make the UAE goalkeeper work only for his shot to ricochet off the defenders and fall for Nguyen Tien Linh who shot on the turn from close range. But Tien Linh could only direct his shot straight at the keeper and the chance to collect all three points was gone,” said FOX Sports Asia.

Reigning runners-up Vietnam were held to a goalless draw by UAE in their opening match of the AFC U23 Championship 2020 Group D.

“Nguyen Quang Hai came close on a couple of occasions for Vietnam and Nguyen Tien Linh was denied a winner at the close by the Emirati goalkeeper. As such, Park’s side settled for a point at Buriram Stadium”, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on its website.

On Live Sport Asia, author Arnaur Ray said: “Vietnam U23s unfortunately dropped points against the UAE in the first match of 2020 AFC U23 Championship group D, where the number of opportunities created was quite significant… Nguyen Tien Linh and Ha Duc Chinh made many threats to the goal but could not take advantage of them due to lack of luck and somewhat indecisive actions.”

The Singapore-based sports site also pointed out the player who did not perform well in the Vietnamese squad in this match, centre-back Huynh Tan Sinh. The Quang Nam FC’s player received a yellow card, while he also made a noteworthy foul against Ali Saleh – the UAE’s 19-year-old star was the centre of threats for Vietnam – near the box at the beginning of the second half. Fortunately, VAR saved Vietnam in this situation. Referee Muhammad Taqi at first pointed to the penalty spot but then withdrew his decision, only granting the UAE a free kick as VAR said the foul was not inside the box. “The player who did not play well on the Vietnamese side in this match was Huynh Tan Sinh. And it was Tan Sinh who made a foul just outside the penalty area at the beginning of the second half that the referee Taqi pointed to the 11-metre spot. However, VAR saved Vietnam U23 and Huynh Tan Sinh did not have to receive a second yellow card,” according to Live Sport Asia.

Ali Saleh played very well in the match last night, forcing Vietnamese defenders to work hard.

Unable to convert opportunities into goals, Vietnam had to settle for a point apiece with UAE. Although there is a bit of regret, both FOX Sports and Live Sport Asia said that it is a reasonable results after looking at the happenings on the field. A draw can also be considered a success for Vietnam as UAE are regarded as the toughest opponents for Park’s side in the group stage. In the next matchday, on January 13, Vietnam will face Jordan, who beat DPR Korea 2-1 in the second match of Group D on Friday to temporarily lead the group.

Group D rankings after the first matchday of the AFC U23 Championship 2020.