Defending champions Vietnam moved to the top of the standings of the AFF Beach Soccer when they beat Malaysia 5-3 as China PR finally picked up their first win when they beat Afghanistan 4-3 in the round of matches here at the Laem Tan Beach.
Moving into the penultimate stage of the competition tomorrow, Vietnam needed to beat the Malaysians for a fighting chance into the final day.
But they could not have had a worst start when they found themselves conceding the first goal of the game straight from kick-off when Muhammad Qushairie Asaari fired in.
And while Vietnam managed to find the equaliser through goalkeeper Tran Cong Thanh just 20seconds later, they could not prevent Malaysia from taking a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period off goals from Muhammad Zuhairi Ismail (8th) and Mohd Hasrol Ali (9th).
However, Vietnam stepped up their game into the second period when they earned a penalty right from the onset for Tran Ngoc Bao to fire in as he then restored parity with a clever finish from close two minutes later.
Vietnam would finish the second period with their noses in front off a strike from Tran Vinh Phong to put the score at 4-3.
A delightful chip from Le Quy Lun Vy’s less than a minute into the third period would seal the win for Vietnam as the Malaysians tried so very hard to get back into the match to no avail.
The win saw Vietnam picking up six points from two matches played – the same as Thailand although the former currently occupy the top spot due to better goal difference.
IN THE MEANTIME, China PR finally picked up their first win in three matches when they beat Afghanistan 5-4 in an earlier match.
But the match was close, very close indeed with both teams putting up a battling performance for the score to stay deadlocked at the end of an exhilarating first period
Just four minutes into the second period and China went ahead with Hao Min Hui’s diagonal shot.
Afghanistan put the pressure on their opponents and finally found the back of the net in the tenth minute when a Zainuddin Shariff playback allowed Mohd Emran Walizada to finish.
But China would finish the second period on a 2-1 advantage when Guo Xu Chen Jiao finished the rebound after Bai Fan’s earlier freekick was blocked.
The third period would be fast and frantic with six goals being scored for the final 5-4 scoreline to China.
China found the goals off Han Xue Geng in the second minute, Liu Yi Si (3rd) and Cai Wei Ming (8th) as Afghanistan replied through Omind Homauni (2nd), Zainuddin (5th) and Samiullah Mohammadi (8th).
RESULTS – 15 Nov 2019
China 5 Afghanistan 4
Vietnam 5 Malaysia 3
FIXTURES – 16 Nov 2019
All matches at the Laem Tan Beach
1600: Afghanistan vs Vietnam
1730: Thailand vs China PR