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World Cup qualifiers: Vietnam suffer 1-3 loss to Saudi Arabia despite early surprise

By Staff reporters    SEP. 3, 2021

Vietnam scored in the 3rd minute but were defeated eventually after playing most of the second half with one man down.

Vu Van Thanh (L) and Do Duy Manh during Vietnams World Cup qualification game against Saudi Arabia, September 3, 2021.

Vu Van Thanh (L) and Do Duy Manh during Vietnam's World Cup qualification game against Saudi Arabia, September 3, 2021. The referee decided Manh committed handball in the collision and awarded Saudi Arabia a penalty.

Vietnam showed that they had good control of the game in the first half, with Nguyen Quang Hai opening the scoreboard early and his teammates putting up solid defense.

But the game turned in the second half. A referee decision following VAR review found Do Duy Manh committed a handball. Manh was given a second yellow card, the first one for reacting, believing that he had been fouled in the collision. Manh left the game while Saudi Arabia were awarded a penalty.

Salem Al-Dawsari took the penalty shot and equalized for Saudi Arabia in the 55th minute.

Down to 10 men, Vietnam rushed to strengthen their defense. Yet they suffered the second goal as Yasir Al-Shahrani scored from a header 12 minutes later.

The hosts were awarded the second penalty in the game after Que Ngoc Hai made a wrong tackle inside the box. Saleh Al-Shehri raised the scored to 3-1 in the 79th minute.

This is Vietnam's first ever game in the final round of World Cup qualification.

Their next will be against Australia in Hanoi on Sept. 7.

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