Hai's double helps Vietnam beat Afghanistan in friendly

By Quang Dung, Hoang An   June 1, 2022 | 06:22 pm PT
Hai's double helps Vietnam beat Afghanistan in friendly
Forward Pham Tuan Hai celebrates his second goal for Vietnam against Afghanistan in a friendly in HCMC on June 1, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Striker Pham Tuan Hai scored two goals to secure a 2-0 win for Vietnam against Afghanistan in a friendly match on Wednesday night.

Coach Park Hang-seo fielded many new players along with a few experienced ones.

One of the rookies, defender Adriano Schmidt, put in an impressive performance. He had two chances in the beginning but could not convert, but left his mark in the 33rd minute. From a corner taken by Nguyen Quang Hai, Schmidt headed the ball toward Tuan Hai, who easily tapped it in to open the scoring for Vietnam.

The game also marked the return of goalkeeper Dang Van Lam, who has not been playing for the national team since September 2021 due to a serious shoulder injury.

Lam showed why he is the country's number one keeper with five saves, including two from great scoring chances for Mushtaq Ahmadi in the 19th and 55th minutes, one a powerful volley and a tap-in.

Home fans in HCMC’s Thong Nhat Stadium chanted Lam’s name after those important saves.

Afghanistan were able to beat Lam once in extra time in the second half when Maziar Kouhyar curled the ball into the far corner and Lam could not reach it. But the ball hit the post.

A few minutes before that Hai had scored his second goal. After receiving the ball on the right, he turned and sprinted past defender Masih Saighani and tricked the keeper by pretending to shoot to the far corner but instead finishing on the other side.

Since making his debut in the World Cup qualifier against Oman last year, Hai has become an important member of the team.

Vietnam had several other good chances but could not convert any of them.

"In general, I’m satisfied with the new players and also the ones who just returned after injury," Park said after the game.

"In the first half, the team played the usual 3-5-2 formation. I tried the 4-4-2 formation in the second half, but things did not go as planned. The midfield could not maintain possession, and so we chose the safe option, which was returning to the old formation."

Afghanistan head coach Anoush Dastgir praised Vietnam’s performance.

"It was a great game, especially for the fans. We lost but created many chances. Things would have been different if we had a goal. I think Vietnam scored really easily and deserved this win."

The Vietnamese players will rest before starting preparations for the 2022 AFF Cup at the end of the year.

Friendly match: Vietnam 2-0 Afghanistan

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