Friday, December 3, 2010

Vietnam 7 - 1 Myanmar: Rampant Vietnam lay down marker

Vietnam kicked off the defence of their AFF Suzuki Cup title in emphatic fashion, handing Myanmar a 7-1 thrashing at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on Thursday evening.

Nguyen Anh Duc and Nguyen Trong Hoang both scored twice while Nguyen Minh Phuong, Le Tan Tai and Nguyen Vu Phuong also found the back of the net to give Henrique Calisto the start he had hoped.

The win moves Vietnam to the top of the early standings in Group B after Singapore's 1-1 draw with the Philippines earlier in the day and it will also give the defending champions a confidence boost going into their encounter with the Philippines on Sunday.

The Vietnamese opened the scoring as early as the 13th minute, Anh Duc reacting first to capitalise on a long-range effort by Minh Phuong that was spilled by the Myanmar keeper and the 25-year-old made no mistake from close range.

Just three minutes later, though, Myanmar pulled level thanks to a fine strike by Aung Kyaw Moe, whose drive with the outside of his right foot from the edge of the penalty area seared into the corner beyond Duong Hong Son's dive.

The goal made the near-capacity crowd at the My Dinh Stadium restless but their jitters were calmed on the half-hour mark as captain Minh Phuong restored Vietnam's lead with a dipping, curling free kick from 25 yards out that gave Zin Htet no chance.

Vietnam's determination to earn as much as possible from their opening fixture became apparent in the second half as Calisto's team refused to take the foot off the gas despite widening their advantage just six minutes after the restart.

Pham Thanh Luong's cross from the right found Tan Tai in acres of space in the penalty area, leaving the midfielder with time to control the ball before smashing it home to double his side's lead.

Vietnam's advantage was increased further in the 66th minute when Anh Duc claimed his second of the night with a fine header following good work down the flank by Nguyen Vu Phuong.

Substitute Trong Hoang's left foot shot from the edge of the area moved across the face of goal and into the far corner to increase Vietnam's lead further and, with just seven minutes remaining, he struck again, this time from close range to ensure the empathic nature of the win.

Vu Phuong then completed the scoring deep into injury time with another close range strike, leaving the home support in raptures and Vietnam in pole position in the battle for top spot in Group B.

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup

Calisto calls for calm after comprehensive win 

 Hanoi: Vietnam coach Henrique Calisto was keen to temper the host nation's excitement after seeing his side hand Myanmar a 7-1 thrashing as they opened the defence of their AFF Suzuki Cup title on Thursday evening.

Braces for both Nguyen Anh Duc and Nguyen Trong Hoang as well as single strikes from Nguyen Minh Phuong, Le Tan Tai and Nguyen Vu Phuong ensured Vietnam recorded a comprehensive victory as they seek to retain the title they won two years ago.

With goal difference likely to be significant in the battle for top spot in Group B, Calisto expressed his delight at his team's approach to the game but stressed the win will mean little if it is not followed up by another strong performance against the Philippines on Sunday.

"I spoke to the players about this and after we went 4-1 up, some teams would think this is enough," said Calisto. "But we had to keep going, to score one more and one more because the goal difference is important.

"Now is a very happy moment but we haven't won anything, we have won only one game. We must give everything.

"People will think this is enough and we will be champions again but there's a long way to go.

"The Philippines are a strong team with a strong defence and we must be careful. I hope I can transmit this to my players because one game is not enough."

Despite the margin of his side's victory, Calisto was quick to stress how the differences between the teams involved in the AFF Suzuki Cup had narrowed.

"It's been a difficult time for former champions," he said. "Thailand drew 2-2 with Laos and Singapore drew with the Philippines and that shows there are no easy games, these are finished.

"Thailand v Laos and Singapore v Philippines are very good lessons, that we must respect the opponents. There are no weak teams.

"We didn't predict this and I thought we could win if we played well, but 7-1 is unpredictable. The players must play a quality game.

"We had a very good spirit and that's what I'm most satisfied about."

Myanmar coach Tin Myint Aung was left ruing his players' loss of concentration, claiming that as the reason for the heavy defeat.

"I said before the game that whoever showed their best performance would win and that's why we lost," he said.

"They were organised and that's why we lost, the players were under pressure from the host team and sometimes if a team loses concentration then they can get this kind of result."

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup

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