Viet Nam got their Asian Games football campaign off with a 1-2 loss to Bahrain on Tuesday, the first matchday of the Games in Qatar.
Also in Group B, the Republic of Korea, bronze medalists at the last Games four years ago on home turf in Busan, proved too strong for Bangladesh. They won 3-0 but it was a far from convincing display from one of Asia’s top teams.
|Viet Nam midfielder Quang Thanh passes Abdulrahman of Bahrain in their Asian Games Tuesday match in Doha, Qatar. (Photo: SGGP)|
Bahrain dominated in early minutes in their match but Viet Nam gained the balance after about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the Southeast Asian team conceded a goal in the 34th minute when Adnan fooled keeper To Vinh Loi with a lofted shot. The Vietnamese keeper made an error of judgment.
Six minutes later, Viet Nam striker Le Cong Vinh’s surprising equalizer came after controlling a long ball from a Vietnamese defender. He calmly placed the ball into the net.
But just before the break, defender Huy Hoang let the ball touch his hand in the box while jumping to stop a high cross. No opponents were close to him at all at that moment. Adnan scored again, this time with a penalty awarded by Indian referee Gowder Ajar.
Neither team could find the net in the second half. Bahrain coach Kreso Senad said after the match, “The first match is always difficult. We could not score more goals to compete with the Republic of Korea but the important thing is we won a tough game.
Viet Nam coach Alfred Riedl said, “It’s a great pity that we conceded two goals. My players tried their best and I have nothing to complain about them. We seek to maintain our fitness for the second match with even stronger Korea.”
Viet Nam will face medal favorites Korea this Saturday, December 2.
Also on Tuesday, Uzbekistan beat UAE 2-1 and hosts Qatar crushed Jordan 3-0 in Group A. In Group C, Thailand inflicted a 1-0 win on Palestine and Kuwait beat Kyrgyzstan 3-0 in the night’s other game.