The hard-fought win helps the team consolidate their top spot in Group G with 17 points after seven matches, while maintaining their impressive unbeaten streak with five wins and two draws in the Asian qualifiers. Vietnam are still two points ahead of the second-placed United Arab Emirates (UAE), who won 5-0 over Indonesia in the other match the same day.
In their match report, world football governing body FIFA emphasised: “Vietnam remain unbeaten in the group thanks to Que Ngoc Hai’s late penalty that saw them edge Malaysia 2-1 in Dubai.”
In the last match, Vietnam will have a decisive game to decide the top spot in the group against the UAE, and FIFA said that this will be one of the most exciting and eagerly awaited encounters on the final match day of the 2nd qualifying round.
Meanwhile, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in its post-match commentary, affirmed the Vietnamese team continued to consolidate their pole position in Group G after the victory over Malaysia. “The two teams came into this game on the back of entirely opposing fortunes: Malaysia had lost their last match 4-0 against the United Arab Emirates, while Vietnam had beaten Indonesia 4-0 and cemented their strong position with a win, also having avoided any losses since the Qualifiers began,” the AFC said.
Witnessing their home team once again beaten by Vietnam, the Malaysian media could not help but be disappointed. In its article published early this morning, the Malaysian national news agency (Bernama) admitted their World Cup dreams had been dashed: “One dream is over… Malaysia’s fourth defeat in five outings against Vietnam since Park Hang-seo took over as coach in 2017 means the Harimau Malaya can forget about finishing in the top two positions in Group G of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup second-round qualifiers.” Malaysia still have the goal of winning tickets to the 2023 Asian Cup finals, but according to Bernama, this journey will also be very difficult for them.
Sharing the same opinion, the New Straits Times acknowledged that Malaysia’s World Cup campaign had ended early this morning after the country’s football team suffered a 2-1 defeat to Vietnam. This is their fourth defeat in the last five encounters between both.
“The sad story for Malaysia is that the Vietnamese, who must be the best in Southeast Asia, always do just enough to beat us,” the New Straits Times wrote, adding that although Malaysia have several naturalised players from Brazil, Kosovar or Gambia, it is still not enough for them to beat Vietnam. “The Golden Dragons again did just enough. One goal extra for three points,” the long-standing newspaper in Malaysia wrote.
In Thailand, the country’s press also praised Park Hang Seo’s side. SiamSport wrote: “The Golden Stars continue their unbeaten record as they won 2-1 against Malaysia. Currently, Vietnam have 17 points, firmly at the top of the table with a ticket to play in the 3rd qualifying round almost certainly in their hands.”
Indonesia’s IndoSport also praised the Vietnamese team after their dramatic victory over Malaysia: “The UAE won 5-0 against Indonesia, aiming to take the top spot from Vietnam. Unfortunately, that victory was still not enough to bring Bert van Marwijk’s team to the top, because at the same time, Vietnam excelled against Malaysia in a fierce and dramatic match.”
The Korean press also congratulated Park Hang Seo’s side on their latest victory, expressing their belief that the Vietnamese team will make history if they reach the final qualifying round for the first time ever. In the Korean version of Goal, Park Byeong-gyu wrote: “The Vietnam national football team, led by coach Park Hang-seo, are about to advance to the World Cup Asian final qualifiers. It will be their first time in history if Vietnam, who lead Group G, can advance to the final qualifying round.”
On Yonhap, reporter Ahn Hong-seok also believed in the ability of the Vietnamese team to continue: “If Vietnam win or draw in their final match with the UAE on the June 15, they will advance to the final qualifiers, topping the group. Even if Vietnam lose to the UAE, there is a possibility they will advance to the final qualifier as the group’s runners-up.”
In an article published on OSEN on early June 12, the author said Park’s talent was once again confirmed, helping Vietnamese football prepare to turn a new page in its history.
To hold in their own hands the keys to an historic berth in the final stages, Park’s side need at least one point in the last match against hosts UAE. However, according to Park, Vietnam will continue to confidently aim for victory, although that goal will be more difficult against an in-form UAE.
The final match of the Vietnamese team in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Asia against the UAE will take place at 23:45 (Hanoi time) on June 15 at the Zabeel Stadium in Dubai.