AFC U23 Championships

Vietnam U-23 Emerge Victorious in ASEAN Clash as Malaysia U-23 Were Sent Packing

Vietnam U-23 secured their spot in the quarter-finals of the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup with a 2-0 victory over Malaysia U-23 in Group D on Saturday. Uzbekistan’s 5-0 win against Kuwait in the group’s other match confirmed Vietnam’s advancement as well as Malaysia’s elimination.

Vietnam scored goals on either side of halftime to seal the win, with the Golden Star Warriors set to face Uzbekistan on Tuesday to determine the group winner in a rematch of the 2018 final.

Despite Malaysia’s early attempt on goal by Johor Darul Ta’zim’s Fergus Tierney in the fourth minute, which went wide, Vietnam responded with a chance of their own. Khuat Van Khang’s cross found Vo Hoang Minh Khoa, whose header forced a reflex save from Azim Al Amin.

Malaysia had opportunities too, including Najmudin Akmal’s attempt after a defensive error by Nguyen Thai Son, but his shot went over the bar.

The deadlock was broken six minutes before halftime when The Cong-Viettel star Van Khang curled in a free-kick to give Vietnam the lead. Malaysia had a chance to equalize just before halftime, but Tierney’s header missed the target.

Vietnam remained composed under Malaysian pressure in the second half, focusing on counterattacks. Their strategy paid off as they doubled their lead in the 60th minute when Bui Vi Hao was brought down in the box, resulting in a penalty converted by Minh Khoa.

Although Malaysia had late opportunities, including another defensive error by Vietnam, Tierney failed to capitalize, and Vietnam secured the victory.