Nearly 2000 travelling Vietnamese fans had the rights to be delighted with their national team’s performance against New Zealand U-20. It should not be forgotten that this was the country’s first ever game at an outdoor FIFA tournament.
“We’ve written a fantastic new chapter in the history of Vietnamese football,” captain Nguyen Quang Hai told FIFA.com.
We’re very proud of ourselves. It’s an incredible result, but also a little disappointing because we would have loved to have taken all three points. To be completely honest, we’re all feeling a bit frustrated.”
Vietnam attacked from the start, putting the Kiwis on the back foot. Despite missing influential defensive midfielder Bui Tien Dung due to an injury, this was a disciplined performance with the Southeast Asians looking to get forward all the time while pressing their opponents to deny them space.
Doan Van Thu and Ho Tan Tai pushed up to support the attack whenever possible. Dinh Thanh Binh, the team’s number ten, took a little time to settle but once he did, he looks at ease on the world stage, pushing and probing.
Thanh Binh’s turn in the area in the first half to lose his marker was a thing of beauty even if the shot was dragged wide.
Kiwi keeper Michael Woud was called into action twice in the space of a minute, first denying Doan Van Hau from distance, before scrambling to claw away Nguyen Quang Hai’s cheeky attempt direct from a corner.
However, the lack of clinical finishing means Vietnam U-20 cannot make the most out of their chances and have to be content with the 1 point.
New Zealand are third of Group E, while Vietnam are sitting on third. France lead the group after a thumping 3-0 victory against Honduras.
Vietnam face France in the next match, while New Zealand clash against Honduras.