A Nguyen Trong Hoang goal condemns Malaysia to their second defeat in three months at the hands of Vietnam
AFF Suzuki Cup defending champions Malaysia could not respond to coach Datuk K.Rajagopal’s call for improvement on the road when they fell to a 1-0 friendly defeat in Hanoi to hosts Vietnam.
The defeat was a second successive one to the same opponents, who came to Shah Alam two months ago and won 2-0.
The Malayan Tigers started well and had the first three clear chances of the game fall their way.
Winger Azamuddin Akil failed to convert a in the 9th minute before Safee Sali’s header only managed to find the crossbar 12 minutes later. Captain Safiq Rahim then tested home keeper Duong Hon Son with a free-kick on 30 minutes.
Vietnam’s turn finally arrived after 39 minutes, but Huynh Quoc Anh hesitated and sent his shot wide despite finding himself in a good position.
For most of the second half, the home team held on to possession without creating much to trouble the Malaysian defence.
However, 16 minutes from time, Trong Hoang popped up with the winning strike when he rammed the ball into an empty net from a Nguyen Vu Phong cut-back, after Khairul Fahmi Che Mat had left his position in an attempt to stop Nguyen Van Quyet’s run.
Malaysia will now need to quickly regroup as Thailand lie in wait in another friendly match scheduled for Wednesday.