Foreign media praise Vietnam’s triumph in AFF Cup semi-finals hinh anh 1Scene at the Vietnam - Philippines semifinal fist leg in the first leg of the ASEAN Federation Football (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2018 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s 2-1 win over the Philippines in the first leg of the ASEAN Federation Football (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2018 semifinals on December 2 have reached the headlines of the international media.

An article published on the official website of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) wrote: “Vietnam controlled the pace of the game for much of the half and were heading for the break with a 1-0 advantage”.

It said Doan Van Hau's floated pass was received by striker Anh Duc, who sent a header over goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard making the first score for Vietnam in the 12th minute. Patrick Reichelt volleyed past Dang Van Lam to help the Philippines make it 1-1 at half-time and end Vietnam's record of zero goals conceded in this year's competition. However, the Vietnamese, tournament winners in 2008, were back in front as Phan Van Duc controlled Nguyen Trong Hoang's ball through the Philippines defence for another score.

Reuters, meanwhile, described the triumph as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first defeat as the Philippines’ head coach. Before the match, his team had attained two wins and two draws in the tournament.

According to another article on the match by Xinhua News Agency, Sven-Goran Eriksson spoke highly of Phan Van Duc, adding that the 22-year-old striker has great potential. He said the Philippine team will do their best in the return leg.

Vietnam and the Philippines will meet again at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium on December 6. The winners will take on either Thailand or Malaysia in the final, with the pair playing the second leg of their semi-final on December 4 in Bangkok following a 0-0 draw earlier in Kuala Lumpur.

In the tournament’s history, Vietnam won the championship just once in 2008. With the leadership of coach Park Hang-seo and the current squad, both Vietnamese and Korean football fans are hopeful that the S-shaped country’s team will take the trophy for the second time after 10 years awaiting.-VNA