Striker Nguyen Cong Phuong’s opening goal broke the deadlock and helped hosts Vietnam win 2-0 in a friendly match with Palestine at Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh Province on Monday evening.
During the initial minutes, Palestine took an assertive approach, launching attacks and applying pressure on the host team.
However, Vietnam’s defense exhibited a strong and well-structured performance, effectively thwarting their opponents' attempts to reach goalkeeper Nguyen Dinh Trieu’s net.
|Football supporters spectate Vietnam’s friendly match against Palestine at Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh Province, northern Vietnam, September 11, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre|
In the 18th minute, Palestine had their first promising chance when Ali Abualfa broke free and confronted Dinh Trieu, but the Vietnamese goalkeeper successfully deflected the player’s shot.
Two minutes later, a lofted pass from midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai led to a tumultuous situation within the Palestine penalty box.
Nguyen Hoang Duc seized an opportunity to take a shot, but the ball struck the foot of a Palestinian defender and went out.
|Striker Nguyen Cong Phuong celebrates his goal in Vietnam’s friendly match against Palestine at Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh Province, northern Vietnam, September 11, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre|
Another noteworthy incident in the first half was Pham Trung Hieu and Trieu Viet Hung’s exit from the field in an ambulance due to injuries.
In the subsequent minutes, both teams had chances but failed to capitalize on them.
In the 61st minute, Vietnam broke the deadlock as Hoang Duc delivered a splendid through ball, enabling Cong Phuong to break free and calmly slot the ball past Palestine’s goalkeeper, Rami Hamada, giving Vietnam a 1-0 advantage.
Five minutes later, Hoang Duc executed an excellent pass for Pham Tuan Hai, who made an attempt but could not beat goalkeeper Hamada.
However, Vietnam’s disappointment was short-lived, as in the 78th minute, Nguyen Van Toan swiftly penetrated the opponents' penalty area and subsequently passed the ball to Tuan Hai, who made a shot into an empty net, extending Vietnam’s lead to 2-0.
|Forward Pham Tuan Hai (red jersey) celebrates his goal in Vietnam’s friendly match against Palestine at Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh Province, northern Vietnam, September 11, 2023. Photo: Hoang Tung / Tuoi Tre|
Vietnam are scheduled to play away games against China on October 10, Uzbekistan on October 13, and South Korea on October 17.
These international friendlies are anticipated to provide valuable opportunities for players to sharpen their skills ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying and 2023 AFC Asian Cup campaigns.
During the second AFC qualifying round for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, expected to be played from November 16 to June 11, 2024, Vietnam are in Group F alongside Iraq, the Philippines, and the victors of the match between Indonesia and Brunei.
In the forthcoming final round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, set to take place from January 12 to February 10, 2024, the Vietnamese team have been assigned to Group D, along with Japan, Indonesia, and Iraq.