Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Doha: Jordan kicked off their AFC U23 Championship campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win over Vietnam at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium on Thursday night, with Baha Faisal claiming a brace as Jamal Ahmad’s side cruised to victory.
Faisal opened the scoring six minutes from the end of a first half in which the Vietnamese frustrated their opponents before a long range strike from Omar Maanasrah and a diving header from Faisal secured all three points for the west Asians before Do Duy Manh claimed a late consolation.
“All opening matches are going to be tough, especially when you play against an unknown team,” said Ahmad.
“Vietnam are a good team because they are among the 16 teams who have qualified for this tournament and it took some time to know how they play and to control the game and to know their positives and negatives.
“It took us a while to score, but in the second half we were better although we had some mistakes in the defence but we will work on those to make sure we don’t have them in the next games.”
Neither side impressed in the opening 30 minutes and it was not until nine minutes before the break that the Jordanians fashioned out the first real opening of the game when Ehsan Haddad crossed from the left, only for Faisal to miscue his header well wide of the target.
Three minutes later, however, Jordan took the lead as Ahmad Hisam’s pass split the Vietnamese defence, leaving Faisal with the task of rounding the goalkeeper and slotting the ball into the unguarded net.
Vietnam almost responded with just two minutes remaining in the opening period when Nguyen Cong Phuong headed Nguyen Huu Dung’s cross over the bar.
With the lead secured, Jordan stepped up a gear in the second half. Mahmoud Al Mardi twice went close to adding to his side’s tally, only to see goalkeeper Phi Minh Long deny him on both occasions.
Midway through the second half, though, Jordan added a second when Maanasrah was given the time and space on the Jordanian left to pick his spot, the full back shooting from range and scoring via the underside of the crossbar.
Four minutes later the points were guaranteed for the Jordanians when Hisam tried his luck from long range. The shot beat Minh Long before cannoning back off the cross bar, only for Faisal to react quickest, netting with a fine diving header.
Duy Manh’s side-foot volley from eight yards out in the 86th minute put the Vietnamese on the score sheet, but it was nothing but a consolation as Jordan ran out emphatic winners.
“Jordan were stronger than us, as we see with the result,” said Vietnam coach Toshiya Miura. “They were very strong in duels and they have very good strikers.
“We had some difficulties. We kept good discipline and did a good defending job until it was 0-1, but in second half we took risks and then they scored second and third goal and the game was decided.”
January 17: Vietnam v Australia
January 17: UAE v Jordan