Vietnam beat Philippines 2-0 in World Cup qualifiers

By Hoang Nguyen    NOV. 16, 2023

Nguyen Van Toan opened the score for Vietnam before Nguyen Dinh Bac settled the victory with a last-minute goal in the World Cup qualifier against hosts Philippines Thursday.

Vietnam had a rough start in their first game under coach Philippe Troussier, partially because of the unfamiliar artificial grass pitch of Rizal Memorial Stadium which made it hard for ball control.

Philippines, with the home advantage, put pressure on the visitors right from the start. They were able to corner Vietnam on their side of the field with their pressing play.

However, just six minutes after Philippines got their first shot on goal, Vietnam found the opener, in the 16th minute. A messy situation near the box confused Philippines defense and Nguyen Van Toan took full advantage of it to score for Vietnam.

With a confidence boost, Vietnam players took off a lot of pressure. Many one-touch plays were executed beautifully, but the finishers could not convert them into goals.

Philippines again turned up the intensity at the start of the second half with two consecutive dangerous chances. Vietnam responded by the counter-attacks, but striker Pham Tuan Hai missed them all and was replaced by 19-year-old Nguyen Dinh Bac, the youngest player in the squad.

Philippines almost found the equalizer when 18-year-old Santiago Rublico faced goalkeeper Dang Van Lam with many finishing options, but he took it off target.

In the very last minute of the game, Bac sealed the 2-0 victory for Vietnam with a great solo effort which saw him dribbling past two defenders before beating Neil Etheridge with a shot into the left corner.

Vietnam will return home to face Iraq in the next game on Nov. 21.

2026 World Cup qualifiers: Philippines 2-0 Vietnam

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