Vietnam beats Lebanon 3-1 in Asian Cup qualifier

Vietnam beat Lebanon 3-1 in Hanoi Wednesday to begin its Asian Cup qualifying campaign in style.

Vietnamese striker Le Cong Vinh (in white) and Lebanese Ali Al Saadi in their Asian Cup qualifying match in Hanoi on January 14. Vietnam won 3-1. (Photo: SGGP)

The Southeast Asian champion, for whom captain and attacking midfielder Minh Phuong came back after injury to replace Minh Chau, was all over its opponent right from the kick-off.

Phuong opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a trademark free-kick.

In the 30th minute Tai Em’s cross saw Viet Thang heading to striker Le Cong Vinh who promptly scored the second goal.

The visitors, two down and staring down the barrel, then launched a series of attacks but were unable to break down Vietnam’s strong defense.

Goalkeeper Duong Hong Son, the outstanding player at the recent Suzuki Cup, was also at his imperious best, thwarting the Lebanese at every turn.

But in the 55th minute Vinh got a second yellow card and had to go off and Vietnam had to fall back to a slightly more defensive style.

In the 69th minute Thang broke through to the right corner and his excellent cross caused chaos in the box and Vu Phong blasted in the third goal for Vietnam.

Five minutes later Akram Moghrabi scored a consolation goal for the visitors.

Vietnam next plays China on January 21.

By Le Quang – Translated by Lam Thanh

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