Vietnam continue winning streak with victory over Palestine

By Hoang Nguyen   September 11, 2023 | 11:17 pm PT
Vietnam continue winning streak with victory over Palestine
Nguyen Cong Phuong celebrates his first goal for Vietnam national team after 21 months during the game with Palestine on September 11, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Vietnam won their third international friendly match in a row after defeating Palestine 2-0 on Monday night, with both goals coming from substitutes.

Forward Nguyen Cong Phuong scored his first goal in nearly two years for the national team, with midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc providing the assist in the 61st minute with an inch-perfect through ball.

Around 17 minutes later, forward Nguyen Van Toan made a great solo effort before setting up striker Nguyen Tuan Hai for the tap-in to double the lead for Vietnam in Thien Truong Stadium in the northern province of Nam Dinh.

Both Phuong and Toan play abroad but receive very limited game time. Phuong has only played one game for Japanese club Yokohama FC this season when he came on as a substitution in J. League Cup. Many fans have worried that the 28-year-old forward would not be able to keep his form. However, he proved the opposite when coming on as a sub in the second half.

Phuong broke the offside trap and received the through ball from Hoang Duc before chipping it over the keeper to open the scoring for Vietnam. That was his 12th goal for the national team.

Just like Phuong, Toan doesn’t get to play often at his South Korean club Seoul E-Land. After being subbed on in the 71st minute, he only needed seven minutes to leave his mark. Defender Do Duy Manh made a long pass to the right flank and Toan, using his biggest strength which is pace, sprinted forward before passing to Tuan Hai, who easily finished into the empty net.

Palestine are 96th in the FIFA rankings, one place below Vietnam. They chose a rough playing style and put pressure on their opponents with a high defensive line. Vietnam faced difficulties with Palestine’s approach in the first half, but coach Philippe Troussier made effective changes with two substitutions that contributed to the goals.

This is Vietnam’s third consecutive win under coach Troussier. With this victory, Vietnam will climb to 93rd in the world rankings.

Vietnam have three more friendlies in October, playing against much stronger opponents China, Uzbekistan and South Korea.

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