Hosts Vietnam missed out on a win in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Iraq on Thursday, when the visitors equalized from the penalty spot in the final minute in Hanoi of added time.
Striker Cong Vinh opened the scoring for Vietnam in the 25th minute following good interplay between himself and midfielder Trong Hoang.
Holding possession on home soil, Trong Hoang dribbled the ball toward the Iraqi penalty box on the right hand side of the pitch before passing it to Cong Vinh.
The forward beat two defenders to receive the ball before slotting it into the bottom right corner of the Iraqi goal.
Goalkeeper Nguyen Manh played a great game, denying at least three clear chances of the Iraqis, who pushed forward during the last 25 minutes in the hope of finding an equalizer.
In the final seconds of six added minutes, Iraq were awarded a penalty kick when a handball was deemed to have taken place, with the ball hitting the hand of a Vietnamese defender inside the penalty area.
Iraq took their chance to secure a 1-1 draw against their hosts, before the Australian referee whistled to end the match, leaving Vietnam’s players heart-broken, having come so close to victory.
After three games in Group F of the 2018 FIFA World Cup’s Asian qualifying, Vietnam sit third with four points. In earlier results, Vietnam beat Taiwan 2-1 and lost 0-1 to Thailand.
The Thais top the group with seven points, while Iraq are second with five points. Taiwan have yet to earn a point from their three outings.
Vietnam will take on Thailand in Hanoi on October 13 in their next match, where the hosts will be hoping to take a win to keep them in with a chance of advancing from their group.
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