How Vietnam got a penalty in Malaysia clash

By Xuan Binh   December 27, 2022 | 09:15 pm PT
How Vietnam got a penalty in Malaysia clash
Malaysia's Azam Azmi (L) kicks Vietnam's Doan Van Hau in the AFF Cup game on December 27, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Malaysia defender Azam Azmi hit Doan Van Hau outside of the pitch but the referee still awarded Vietnam a penalty kick, to the chagrin of the Malaysian team.

According to FIFA rules, however, this was the correct call.

In the 59th minute of the AFF Cup match between Vietnam and Malaysia on Tuesday, Van Hau chased Azmi down the box, but couldn’t get to the ball. As Azmi cleared the ball, Hau kept pressing him and both of them fell out of bounds. When Azmi got up, he kicked Hau, causing the Vietnamese defender to be in pain.

Japanese referee Ryuji Sato witnessed the incident and after a moment of hesitation, he decided to award Vietnam a penalty kick. At that moment, Vietnam was leading Malaysia 1-0. But a penalty was a relief as Vietnam were down to 10 men after Nguyen Van Toan received two yellow cards that translated into a red card in the first half.

Malaysia’s players surrounded Sato as they did not agree with his decision. After consulting with linesman Jun Mihara, Sato decided to give Azmi a straight red card for misconduct, in addition to the penalty. Que Ngoc Hai successfully converted from the spot and doubled the lead for Vietnam.

Former Vietnam Football Federation head referee Duong Van Hien explained that the ball was still in play when Azmi kicked Hau so even though the foul took place outside of the pitch, the free kick spot should be moved to the nearest position, which in this case was the penalty area.

According to FIFA rules "a penalty kick is awarded if a player commits a direct free kick offense inside their penalty area or off the field as part of play."

Vietnam’s two other goals in the match came from striker Nguyen Tien Linh's header in the 28th minute and Nguyen Hoang Duc’s goal in the 83rd minute.

The 3-0 victory over Malaysia helped Vietnam top group B. The team will play Singapore on Friday.

Footage from FPT Play shows Azam Azmi's fault agains Doan Van Hau in an AFF Cup group stage match in Hanoi, December 27, 2022.

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