Vietnam draws with Afghanistan, qualify for 2019 Asian Cup

14:12 | 15/11/2017 Sports

Park Hang-seo wanted a win in his debut match and Vietnamese players wanted a win under their new coach. However, the Afghanistan team did not let that happen, holding Vietnam to a goalless draw in the Group C of the 2019 Asian Cup qualification yesterday in Hanoi.

vietnam draws with afghanistan qualify for 2019 asian cup
Vietnamese striker Nguyen Van Toan (left) vies for a ball against Milad Salem of Afghanistan during their Asian Cup qualifier yesterday in Hanoi — VNS Photo

The visitors did an even better job than what their coach Otto Pfister had planned.

Afghanistan played a pressing game at high speed when it was half way into the first half. They had two chances by Haroon Fakhrudin and Milad Salem near the break but keeper Mạnh denied all.

The second half was even worse for the hosts when they had to resist consecutive attempts from Afghanistan, especially in 10 last minutes. Meanwhile the host strikers could not find any hole to dig into Wakili’s area.

Amiri again almost made more than 8,000 Vietnamese supporters in the stands hold their breath with his shot that hit the right post in the 85th minute.

From that moment to the end, Vietnamese players played a defensive game trying to ensure a draw.

With one point from the game, Vietnam are placed second in the group with nine points. Jordan who beat Cambodia 1-0 in an early match at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh take the top with 11.

Jordan and Vietnam sealed their berths at the Cup finals which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.

It was the best ever result for Vietnam as it was their first official ticket of the team. Earlier, they had a chance to compete in the Cup in 2007 as the hosts.

The top two teams will play each other in the last group round match on March 27. However, the result of the game is just to identify the group’s leading team.

Theo VNS