Vietnam have advanced to the quarterfinals of men's football at the 2018 Asian Games after beating ten-men Bahrain 1-0 in the round of 16 in Indonesia on Thursday.
Both sides had equal ball possession until the 42nd minute, when Bahrain’s midfielder Ahmed Sanad was sent off after fouling Do Duy Manh.
However, ten-men Bahrain managed to block repeated attacks from the Vietnamese well into the latter part of the second half, before substitute Cong Phuong scored in the 88th minute.
Phuong’s fine strike settled the game and booked Vietnam a place in the quarterfinals, their best result since their debut tournament in 1998.
Vietnam will take on Syria on August 27.
|Vietnam’s striker Nguyen Cong Phuong celebrates his decisive goal for the under-23 team. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Vietnam’s men’s football team have played six Asian Games editions in a row since 1998.
The current squad, with South Korean coach Park Hang-seo behind the steering wheel, have made history not only for being the first team to reach the quarterfinals, but also for keeping their sheet clean in four straight games.
This is so far the best result of Vietnam at Asia’s biggest sporting playground for the ‘king of sport’.
Vietnam finished at the bottom of their groups, without scoring a single goal, in the 1998 and 2002 editions, and did not have their first-ever win until the 2006 Games, when they were also eliminated after the group stage.
At Incheon 2014, the Vietnamese men showed some progress but were only able to pass the group stage.
Thursday, the fifth day of competition at the continent’s biggest sporting event, was a day full of joy for Team Vietnam at the 2018 Asian Games, with the women’s rowing team bagging the country’s first-ever gold medal at the contest, while wushu artist Bui Truong Giang won a silver.