Vietnam qualify for Asian Cup round of 16 in thrilling fashion

16:24 | 18/01/2019 Society

Vietnam have officially booked the last berth in the 2019 Asian Cup round of 16 with better disciplinary points against Lebanon, who had to bid farewell to the tournament despite their brilliant 4-1 victory over DPR Korea in their last Group E clash on the night of January 17 (local time).

Vietnam already encountered Jordan at the AFC Asian Cup 2019's qualifier

Lebanon needed to win by four clear goals to advance but despite a valiant effort, they fell just short.

Pak Kwang-ryong converted his free-kick in the ninth minute to give DPR Korea an early advantage, only to see his attempt cancelled out as Lebanon fought back strongly to score four consecutive goals thanks to Felix Melki (27’), Alhelwe (65’), Maatouk (80’) and Hilal Alhelwe (90+7) to bag the full three points.

The resounding triumph, however, was not enough to send Miodrag Radulovic’s side through to the knockout stage, with Vietnam outplaying them on the fairplay rule to qualify through the narrow gate.

After the match, Vietnam and Lebanon had the same number of goals scored (four), points (three) and goal difference (-1). However, it was the the Golden Dragons who booked the last knockout ticket with better disciplinary points, as they conceded only five yellow cards compared to Lebanon’s seven (including two in the match against DPR Korea).

Next up for Vietnam will be a round of 16 clash on January 20 with Group B leaders Jordan, who impressively recorded two wins and one draw in the group stage.

Theo NDO