Vietnam could not find a way through hosts Singapore’s well-organized defense and accepted a goalless draw in the group stage of the 2022 AFF Championship on Friday evening.
Vietnam had a difficult game at Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore as they struggled to find a way through the disciplined and multi-layered defense of the hosts.
The 2008 and 2018 winners, who started with a line-up including many reserved players, barely created a relevant chance in the first half.
In the second half, Vietnam put several key players in and created more profound attacks.
However, Singapore’s defense remained solid.
Vietnamese striker Nguyen Tien Linh, forward Nguyen Van Quyet and midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc had many good chances to score, but all of them ended up in vain as their precision was lacked.
Vietnam were the closest to goal when Nguyen Hoang Duc’s shot hit the post in the 84th minute.
The 0-0 draw against Singapore still retains Vietnam's top spot in Group B and leaves the door to the semifinals wide open for the two-time winners.
The Vietnamese will only be eliminated if they lost to Myanmar from eight goals and Malaysia defeat Singapore in the last round of Group B next week.
Currently, Singapore rank second in the group, followed by Malaysia, Myanmar, and Laos.
In Group A, Thailand sit atop the table, followed by Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Brunei.
The group phase of the 2022 AFF Cup will continue until January 3 with group winners and runners-up advancing to the semifinals, which will be played on January 6 and 9 on a home-and-away basis.
The final will be held over two legs on January 13 and 16.