Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnam edge Cambodia in Asia Cup qualifier

Vietnam edge Cambodia in Asia Cup qualifier

Cambodian forward Chan Vathanka scores the equalising goal against Vietnam in the Asia Cup qualifier at Olympic Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Cambodian forward Chan Vathanka scores the equalising goal against Vietnam in the Asia Cup qualifier at Olympic Stadium on Tuesday evening. Sreng Meng Srun

Vietnam edge Cambodia in Asia Cup qualifier

A late second-half goal sealed Cambodia’s fate as Vietnam recorded a 2-1 win in the AFC Asia Cup qualifiers Group C tie at a packed Olympic Stadium yesterday evening.

Cambodia will travel to Hanoi for the second leg on October 10.

This was Vietnam’s first victory after a goalless draw with Jordan in late March and holding Afghanistan 1-1 in mid-June.

A second defeat for Cambodia followed a 7-0 loss to Jordan and a 1-0 win at home against Afghanistan.

In a dramatic start to this highly anticipated clash, Vietnam scored a snap goal as early as the fourth minute through skipper Nguyen Van Quyet, who deftly found the mark, beating goalkeeper Sou Yaty to his right.

Six minutes later, Chan Vathanaka brought another massive crowd to its feet when he slammed home an equaliser to keep Cambodia in the fight.

Keo Sokpheng’s timely turn inside the box resulted in the Phnom Penh Crown striker finding Vathanaka, whose firm shot brooked no answer from the Vietnam goalkeeper.

Minutes before the break, however, Vathanaka had been well placed in front of the goalmouth but his open header went over the crossbar much to the disappointment of the Cambodian fans.

While the Cambodian defence and Yaty tightened the vigil and kept the few promising Vietnam attempts at bay, the visitors gave very little away.

With both sides testing the other’s resolve, the crucial turning point in the game came when the Cambodian defence was caught off guard with an unmarked Nguyen Van Toan heading the ball into the top corner of the net approaching the 80th minute.

It was a winning start for Vietnam’s interim coach Mai Duc Chung, who took charge of the men’s team after they failed to qualify for the semifinals at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, where he led the women’s side to the gold medal.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen ready to ‘break record’, says Rainsy lost

    Caretaker prime minister Hun Sen used a meeting with 18,400 factory workers on Wednesday to predict that he would beat the record for being the world’s longest-serving non-royal leader. He also used the platform to slam political opponent Sam Rainsy who he said had lost

  • Sihanoukville land prices skyrocketing amid breakneck development

    Sihanoukville, the Kingdom’s most famous beach destination for tourists, is seemingly becoming a paradise for Chinese investors as well. The huge influx of Chinese investors has caused property values to rise, especially the price of land, which has nearly doubled in some places near

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by