Vietnam keep AFF Cup title hope with late goal against Thailand in final

By Hoang Nguyen    JAN. 13, 2023

Vietnam scored first but let Thailand came back with two goals, before escaping defeat with a late goal in the first leg of the 2022 AFF Cup final on Friday.

It was an intense game at My Dinh National Stadium when Vietnam take on Thailand.

Both teams started slowly at first but sped up after 10 minutes. Vietnam had the first dangerous shot with Pham Tuan Hai’s attempt and Thailand answered with Adisak Kraison’s finish in the 14th minute, which couldn’t beat goalkeeper Dang Van Lam.

Eleven minutes later, Vietnam opened the scoring. Centre-back Que Ngoc Hai in an attack down the right flank crossed a great ball for Nguyen Tien Linh, who headed it in.

That was Linh’s sixth goal in the tournament, making him the top scorer alongside Teerasil Dangda, who didn’t play due to an injury.

Without key striker Dangda, Thailand still got another star. Theerathon Bunmathan proved his class in this game with a free kick that hit the post in late first half.

One minute into the second half, he made a long pass for Poramet Aejwirai, who got past Ngoc Hai before finishing powerfully to equalize for Thailand.

Theerathon contributed again to Thailand’s second goal 17 minutes later with a through ball for Sarach Yooyen, who finished cleanly to complete the comeback.

Vietnam’s offside trap didn’t work well in this goal. The second goal of Thailand put Vietnam players under great pressure and their attacks didn’t work. But when everyone was thinking about a win for Thailand, Vu Van Thanh equalized for Vietnam with a thunderous strike, four minutes after coming on as a substitution.

The first leg of the final ended 2-2 and Thailand got two away goals as the advantage before the second leg three days later in Bangkok. Vietnam will need to win or get a draw of at least 3-3 in the next game to win the title.

AFF Cup final first leg: Vietnam 2-2 Thailand

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