Vietnam beat Malaysia 4-1 to enter AFF U23 Championship final

By Hoang Nguyen    AUG. 24, 2023

Xuan Tien's brace and goals by Hong Phuc and Quoc Viet earned Vietnam a big win against Malaysia in the AFF U23 Championship semifinal Thursday.

Before the game, no one thought Vietnam would have such an easy game against Malaysia, who topped their group with wins against Indonesia and Timor Leste.

After a rough start, Vietnam scored the early opener in the eighth minute when Nguyen Minh Quang sprinted down the flank, got past two defenders before passing it to Dinh Xuan Tien for the tap-in.

The more Vietnam played, the more confident they got. In the 32nd minute, Nguyen Quoc Viet redeemed a previous miss with a decisive shot at the edge of the box and beat goalkeeper Rahadiazil Rahalim.

Vietnam continued to dominate and create more chances and the third goal was inevitable. In the 44th minute, Khuat Van Khang made a pass inside the box for Xuan Tien, who scored again with another tap-in.

With a three-goal lead, Vietnam slowed down in the second half and somewhat lost their focus, which gave Malaysia more attacking chances. They got one back in the 51st minute with a simple header from Alif Anuar. In this play, no defender paid attention to Anuar.

After some lackluster minutes, Vietnam gradually gained back control and focused on defense, while Malaysia found it hard to break through. Vietnam got a few counter-attacks and one of them brought them another goal in the 85th minute, with two substitutions setting up the goal. Bui Vi Hao sprinted down the left flank before passing it in for Nguyen Hong Phuc for the tap-in. The score after fulltime was 4-1 for Vietnam and they will play the final against Thailand or Indonesia on Saturday.

AFF U23 Championship semifinal: Vietnam 4-1 Malaysia

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