Goals from Nguyễn Quang Hải and Quế Ngọc Hải gave the Golden Dragons of Vietnam a lifeline for entry into the next round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
After a heartbreaking opening loss to Iraq and a defeat at the hands of Asia’s top-ranked team in Iran that followed, Vietnam was finally able to find their form and footing against Yemen inside of Hazza Bin Zaved Stadium on late Wednesday evening.
The performance from the Golden Dragons in the final match of Group D may have set them up for what they, and their fans, hope will translate into a deep run further into the tournament.
In the 38th minute, it was the Vietnamese side who struck first to open up the scoring. Given a free quick just outside of the penalty area, Nguyễn Quang Hải was able to wonderfully locate the upper left corner of Yemen’s goal, leaving goalkeeper Salem Gamal Ali Al Harsh no chance at stopping the ball.
The goal was also the Hanoi FC Midfield/Forward’s first of the competition.
The Southeast Asian representatives just about slammed the door shut in the second half after a penalty kick was awarded to them in the 64th minute when Yemeni Abdulaziz Al Gumaei took down a streaking Phan Văn Đức inside of the box
Vietnamese captain Quế Ngọc Hải then certified his team’s place in the battle for the best third-place teams who will go through into the next phase of the competition after cleverly converting the opportunity one minute later.
Despite stamping their might and earning the final three points of their group, the current Southeast Asia king’s fate still hangs in the air awaiting the final day results of Groups E and F.