HCMC – Vietnam’s U-23 football team tied goalless with the U23 Singapore squad in their second game the international football tournament Eximbank Cup 2010 at Thong Nhat Stadium in HCMC on Thursday, while Iran U21 beat Malaysia U23 2-0 in the earlier game, securing the top spot in the four-team tournament.
Vietnam tie with Singapore at Eximbank Cup, Iran go top
By Vu Duc - The Saigon Times Daily
Vietnam’s Hoang Danh Ngoc (R) challenges for the ball with Qaasimy of Singapore during their Eximbank Cup match in Thong Nhat Stadium on Thursday - Photo: Ba Chau HCMC – Vietnam’s U-23 football team tied goalless with the U23 Singapore squad in their second game the international football tournament Eximbank Cup 2010 at Thong Nhat Stadium in HCMC on Thursday, while Iran U21 beat Malaysia U23 2-0 in the earlier game, securing the top spot in the four-team tournament.
The Vietnamese side began the game with an unchanged lineup after a 2-1 win over Malaysia in their opener on Tuesday while the Singaporean side had no change compared to their line-up in the opening game when they tied 1-1 with Iran.
Though the game was only a friendly, the competition between hosts Vietnam and archrivals Singapore is always fiercely competitive, with local fans always refusing to accept second best or anything other than victory under any circumstances.
Vietnam placed their rivals under a lot of pressure, while the Singaporean squad, with height advantage, looked composed and confident throughout and caused the home team problems with their cunning counter attacks.
Both sides created some scoring chances but their defenses were up to the task and kept clean sheets to half time.
The game went to highlights in the 31st minute when Singaporean coach Avramovic was sent off after reacting to the Thai referee over a decision.
Although the Vietnamese players had the most possession over the second half and managed to create dozens of chances, the Singaporean side defense resiliently held out to keep a clean sheet.
Fairud nearly scored for the Singaporean side with a header in the 73rd minute, but it was saved by Vietnamese defender Minh Duc from close range.
Vietnam faced some disadvantage in the 80th minutes when Van Hieu was sent off after receiving the red card. Despite playing with ten men, Vietnam had good ball possession in the last minutes. However, their forwards missed all scoring chances.
In the earlier game on Thursday, Iran U21 secured a 2-0 victory over Malaysia U23. Striker Moosavi scored the first goal for Iran in the 42nd minute before Afshin finalized the game at 2-0 in the 76th minute.
Both Iran and Vietnam have four points each from one win and one draw but Iran secured the top spot due to the goal difference. The Singaporean team, who currently rank third in the competition, have two points from two draws while the bottom-placed Malaysia have no point from two losses.
The champions will be decided on Saturday when hosts Vietnam play Iran U21 at 6:00 p.m. in the final game while Singapore take on their Malaysian counterparts at 4:00 p.m.
Singapore U23, Iran U21 and Malaysia U21 together with the Vietnamese Olympic squad are competing at the international football tournament – Eximbank Cup 2010 under a round-robin format. The team that gets the most points will be declared the champions. The tournament is taking place from Tuesday to Saturday at Thong Nhat Stadium in HCMC.
The champions will receive US$20,000, the runners-up will get US$10,000, and the third-placed team, US$5,000.