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Vietnam hold advantage

Bacalod: Goals from Nguyen Anh Duc and Phan Van Duc steered Vietnam to a 2-1 win over the Philippines in their 2018 AFF Cup semi-final first leg on Sunday.

Philippines had early chances in the opening minutes but it was Vietnam who scored first.

Doan Van Hau's floated pass saw striker Anh Duc catch the Philippines defence napping, and he sent a header over goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard to open the scoring in the 12th minute.

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Vietnam controlled the pace of the game for much of the half and were heading for the break with a 1-0 advantage, but Philippines rallied back just before half-time.

Captain Phil Younghusband broke free on the left and whipped an inviting cross into the area and Reichelt was perfectly placed to volley past Dang Van Lam to make it 1-1 at half-time and end Vietnam's record of zero goals conceded in this year's competition.

Vietnam showed they mean business when they immediately restored their lead three minutes after the recess.

Nguyen Trong Hoang's cross found Van Duc as he beat the Azkals' offside trap for a clever finish past Falkesgaard.

Vietnam almost increased their advantage when Philippines midfielder Adam Reed nearly turned the ball past his own keeper following a dangerous Vietnam cross from the right.

Vietnam came close to scoring on numerous occasions but were unable to find the back of the net as they held on to win the tie 2-1.

Both teams will head to the My Dình National Stadium in Hanoi on Thursday where the winners will meet either Malaysia or Thailand, whose first keg ended 0-0, in the final.

Sources: Asean Football Federation, AFP

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