On the day, Vietnam once again looked the better team in contrast to Malaysia after a solitary Nguyen Quang Hai's with five minutes left to play in the first half was all that Vietnam needed to beat Malaysia 1-0 and get their first win in Group G after drawing Thailand in their first group back back in September.
Park Hang-seo went his tried and trusted 3-4-3 formation with Nguyen Tuan Anh manning the base of midfield and Quang Hai sparkling in an attacking position alongside the former. Park's strategy of closing down Malaysia's attacking right was so effective that Dang Van Lam was largely untroubled during the match.
"I would like to thank the players’ utmost efforts in today’s match. As head coach, I am proud to have led the Vietnamese players. Malaysia was clearly stronger than in the AFF Cup 2018. They have some foreign players and a better midfield.
"Compared to their previous matches, they had three new players in their team composition. They analyzed our plays thoroughly, as we did theirs. The players executed the tactics properly, even though they only won by one goal," said Park in the post-match press conference.
If there's any disappointment from the match, it would be Tuan Anh picking up an injury which meant that he did not reappear in the second half and had to be replaced by Pham Duc Huy. Nguyen Van Toan also had a very effective match as part of the front three with his pace causing much mayhem to Malaysia's defence.
The win now takes Vietnam ahead of Malaysia in the standings with the former now on four points while the latter are on three points. Park will now turn his attention towards Indonesia, with their match on October 15 being played in Bali instead of the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
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