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Vietnam 7 - 1 Myanmar: Rampant Vietnam lay down marker

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Vietnam kicked off the defence of their AFF Suzuki Cup title in emphatic fashion, handing Myanmar a 7-1 thrashing at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on Thursday evening.

Nguyen Anh Duc and Nguyen Trong Hoang both scored twice while Nguyen Minh Phuong, Le Tan Tai and Nguyen Vu Phuong also found the back of the net to give Henrique Calisto the start he had hoped.

The win moves Vietnam to the top of the early standings in Group B after Singapore's 1-1 draw with the Philippines earlier in the day and it will also give the defending champions a confidence boost going into their encounter with the Philippines on Sunday.

The Vietnamese opened the scoring as early as the 13th minute, Anh Duc reacting first to capitalise on a long-range effort by Minh Phuong that was spilled by the Myanmar keeper and the 25-year-old made no mistake from close range.

Just three minutes later, though, Myanmar pulled level thanks to a fine strike by Aung Kyaw Moe, whose drive with the outside of his right foot from the edge of the penalty area seared into the corner beyond Duong Hong Son's dive.

The goal made the near-capacity crowd at the My Dinh Stadium restless but their jitters were calmed on the half-hour mark as captain Minh Phuong restored Vietnam's lead with a dipping, curling free kick from 25 yards out that gave Zin Htet no chance.

Vietnam's determination to earn as much as possible from their opening fixture became apparent in the second half as Calisto's team refused to take the foot off the gas despite widening their advantage just six minutes after the restart.

Pham Thanh Luong's cross from the right found Tan Tai in acres of space in the penalty area, leaving the midfielder with time to control the ball before smashing it home to double his side's lead.

Vietnam's advantage was increased further in the 66th minute when Anh Duc claimed his second of the night with a fine header following good work down the flank by Nguyen Vu Phuong.

Substitute Trong Hoang's left foot shot from the edge of the area moved across the face of goal and into the far corner to increase Vietnam's lead further and, with just seven minutes remaining, he struck again, this time from close range to ensure the empathic nature of the win.

Vu Phuong then completed the scoring deep into injury time with another close range strike, leaving the home support in raptures and Vietnam in pole position in the battle for top spot in Group B.