Vietnam have earned their first-ever FIFA tournament point via Monday night’s 0-0 draw in their Group E opener with New Zealand at the U-20 World Cup.
The tournament first-timers appeared to handle the pressure well, producing an energetic performance from the outset.
Rather than play defensively as anticipated, the Vietnamese launched repeated attacks and actually dominated the first half, earning seven corner kicks and getting four shots on target.
Vietnam’s strikers kept Kiwi keeper Michael Woud and his defence on their toes, and might have settled the game in the first half had they not spurned all four chances to convert.
After the break the tide turned however, as Vietnam’s high energy game took its toll, allowing New Zealand to dominate space and possession.
This brought Vietnam’s goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung into the game, who had an outstanding night to keep a clean sheet and earn Vietnam a goalless draw in the first-ever World Cup game.
“My players overcame all the pressure and played a fantastic game,” Vietnam’s coach Hoang Anh Tuan said at the post-match press conference.
New Zealand coach Darren Bazeley admitted that Vietnam were much stronger than them in the first half.
In the other Group E opener on Monday, France easily accounted for Honduras 3-0.
Vietnam’s next group game is against France at 3:00 pm this Thursday (May 25).