Vietnam exit Asian Games football after 1-3 defeat to Saudi Arabia

By Hoang Nguyen    SEP. 24, 2023

Vietnam lost 1-3 to Saudi Arabia in the last round of Asian Games men’s football group stage and exited the tournament early.

Vietnam entered the game against Saudi Arabia with the goal of getting at least a draw. They showed that intention with a defensive approach at the start.

The defense stayed low and built many layers which created difficulties for Saudi Arabia players, who had some great chances but they were all neutralized by Vietnam defenders.

However, Vietnam could only survive until the 43rd minute, when Hamad Al-Yami scored with a header from a corner. No Vietnam defender marked Al-Yami in this play.

In the second half, Vietnam made a few changes and that helped them play better, but their attacking chances were not relevant. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia were more lethal on the attacks, and if it wasn’t for goalkeeper Quan Van Chuan’s great saves, Vietnam would have conceded more.

The 0-1 loss was enough for Vietnam to advance until the 80th minute, when Vietnam’s direct competition Myanmar leveled the score against India, which means Vietnam would have to equalize to save themselves.

As Vietnam pushed forward to find the goal, they revealed lots of space and let Saudi Arabia exploit. In the 87th minute, after a series of plays, Mohammed Maran chipped it over the keeper to double the lead for Saudi Arabia.

Three minutes later, they ended Vietnam’s hope with another goal by Zakaria Hawsawi. The remaining time was only enough for Vietnam to get one back with Maran’s own goal.

The final score is 3-1 for Saudi Arabia, which eliminated Vietnam from the group stage of Asian Games men’s football. They won 4-2 against Mongolia but lost 0-4 then 0-3 to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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