HANOI, Oct 10 -- Malaysia suffered its second consecutive defeat in the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup Second Qualifying Round after going down to Vietnam 0-1 in a Group G match at the My Dinh National Stadium here, tonight.
Forward, Nguyen Quang Hai emerged as the home team's hero of the night after slotting in Que Ngoc Hai’s brilliant long pass in the 39th minute to help Vietnam secure its first win of the campaign.
Malaysia’s only dangerous move came in the 10th minute through Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad’s header from a corner kick which caused panic in Vietnam’s goal mouth.
The Golden Dragons, under South Korean’s Park Hang Seo, almost doubled their lead but Nguyen Anh Duc shot was cleared by Shahrul Mohd Saad, after goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias came off his position.
Tonight’s result saw Malaysia slipping to fourth place while Vietnam climbed up to second, sharing four points with Group G leader, Thailand.
Malaysia will host Thailand on Nov 14 and Indonesia (Nov 19) at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil as the Harimau Malaya continue its quest to book a slot in the third round of the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Hang Seo, who previously praised Malaysia for its rich vein of form in the past 10 months, was proud and satisfied of his boys’ performance throughout 90 minutes.
“They (Malaysia) read and studied us very well, but my players stuck to our tactics, and even though we beat them by only one goal... I am very proud,” he told reporters at the post match press conference here, tonight.
In the meantime, assistant coach S.Balachandran, who replaced Cheng Hoe at the post-match conference, praised the Malaysian boys for putting up a good fight. Despite their second consecutive defeat, he believes the national squad still have a good chance to move to next round.
“We played against a strong team and we played very well. We had chances in the first half but couldn’t make it count. After three games, qualifying chances are still open for all the teams in the group, including us,” he said.