Vietnam football team wins exhibition tournament after intense draw with Uzbekistan

By Tuan Hoang   August 7, 2018 | 11:35 pm GMT+7

Vietnam has been crowned the champion at an exhibition tournament to prepare players for the Asian Games.

The exhibition tournament closed at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on Tuesday night as Vietnam's U23 national football team went through with no loss game, bringing an impressive performance to earn the final 1-1 draw against Uzbekistan.

Vietnam's U23 team entered the game with both excitement and anxiety given a big history with their opponent. Uzbekistan’s U23 team was crowned the champion of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship in China last January after defeating Vietnam at the final match under heavy blizzards. Finishing as runner-up, Vietnam’s U23 won the fair-play prize and was praised across Southeast Asia for their fighting spirit.

This time, Uzbekistan was considered weaker than Vietnam since it only brought young players, yet the guest team still took the lead after a counter attack from the right wing as midfielder Nurullo Tukhtasinov scored a tap-in at minute 66.

Vietnam fought back, and 14 minutes later, Pham Duc Huy had a beautiful assist that bypassed the defense of Uzbekistan for Phan Van Duc to make a chip over the opponent’s goalkeeper and score the equalizer for Vietnam.

Phan Van Duc celebrates after scoring the equalizer for Vietnam at the exhibition game against Uzbekistan in Hanoi on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Phan Van Duc celebrates after scoring the equalizer for Vietnam at the exhibition game against Uzbekistan in Hanoi on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

The Tuesday game was part of the exhibition tournament held between August 3-7 with other guest players from Oman and Palestine, the latter replacing Barcelona B after the club from Spain could not participate in the tournament due to lack of players. Vietnam won at both other games.

Review intense moments at the Vietnam vs. Uzbekistan match on Tuesday, which was aired lived on national TV:

The exhibition tournament is considered a big test for Vietnam’s U23 before Asian Games, also known as Asiad, as they will face strong and quality opponents from other countries. Head coach Park Hang-seo will make selections for the official squad list based on performance at the friendship matches.

The team is scheduled for further practice ahead of the big game in Indonesia between August 18 to September 2. Vietnam, with 20 strongest players selected by South Korean coach Park Hang-seo will compete in group D with Japan, Pakistan and Nepal in this sport event.

Take a look again at their amazing journey at the AFC Championship:

Vietnam's U23 football team: The journey at AFC

 
 
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