Vietnam down Malaysia in friendly
Golden boy Le Cong Vinh, whose goal against Thailand clinched the AFF Suzuki Cup for Vietnam four years ago, put the visitors in front with a header in the 32nd minute.
Le Tan Tai, who provided the cross for Cong Vinh’s goal, also set up Phan Thanh Hung for the second just after the break.
The victory will have tasted sweeter for Vietnam ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup in November as they were beaten by Malaysia in the semi-finals in 2010.
Malaysia gave several fringe players spots in the starting line up with Safee Sali, top-scorer with five goals at the last AFF Suzuki Cup, S. Kunalan and Baddrol Bakhtiarm on the bench.
K. Rajogobal’s new-look side failed to shine on the night although the coach, who led Malaysia to their first Asean title two years ago, refused to read too much into the result.
“There is no reason to push the panic button. It’s better we lose now than at the AFF Suzuki Cup,” he said.
“I always look at the positives and in this match the players kept pushing until the final whistle. Some players needed games and if I don’t play them here, when am I going to do so?”
Malaysia’s next warm-up game is against Hong Kong on October 16 while Vietnam play 2010 finalists Indonesia away and home on September 15 and 22 respectively.
Meanwhile, three-time winners Thailand, who will play Vietnam in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup in November, will be without star striker Teerasil Dangda for their friendly with Laos on Wednesday.
Teerasil, joint leading scorer with 17 goals in the Thai Premier League this season, required stitches in a head wound sustained in weekend action.
The Buriram duo of Suchao Nutnum and Anthony Ampaipitakwong, the Thai-American midfielder tipped to make his debut for the national side against Laos, missed training through injury and illness respectively on Tuesday and are doubtful for the match.
Laos, who held Thailand to a 2-2 draw at the last AFF Suzuki Cup, come into the game on the back of a morale-boosting 2-1 victory over the Philippines.
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