Jordan 1 Vietnam 1
Vietnam win 4-2 on penalties
By Paul Nicholson
January 20 – Vietnam became the first team into quarter finals of the Asian Cup, beating Jordan 4-2 on penalties after their last 16 tie ended 1-1 at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
Jordan and Vietnam had previously only met twice, in qaulifying for this competition, both matches were drawn but there could be no draw in this game with qualification for the quarter finals at stake.
Jordan started the stronger and had their first chance via Yousef Rawshdeh’s left footed shot from the centre of the box which was easily gathered by Dan Van Lam on 17 minutes.
Yasen Bakheet had a shot save and Baha Abdel-Rahman had a shot blocked before Jordan were awarded a free kick following a foul by Do Hùng Dung. Abdel-Rahman stepped up with a right footed shot to the top right corner to put Jordan ahead.
If Jordan went in at half time feeling comfortable, they would have been surprised by the intensity of the Vietnamese in the second half who came out to take the game to them. The Vietnamese also qualified for the knock out stages in their last appearance at the Asian Cup in 2007, only losing to eventual winners Iraq in the quarter-finals.
It took just six minutes of pressure for the Vietnamese to draw level. A cross by Nguyen Trong Hoàng was met right footed by Nguyen Công Phuong in the centre of the box, finishing high in the centre of the goal.
It was 30 minutes before Jordan worked their way back into the game but even at the end of the half found themselves in the backfoot with consecutive corners and blocked attempts from Nguyen Tien Linh and Bùi Tien Dung.
Both sides could have dispensed with extra-time and gone straight to penalties. Neither looked prepared to risk losing and subsequently the goalkeepers might as well have sat in the stands and rested as their teams tiredly played their way to the penalty shootout.
Jordan have been in Asian Cup penalty shootouts before. They lost to Japan in 2004 and it wasn’t going to be their night tonight. Jordan were the first to miss with Baha Seif striking the crossbar which was then followed by Ahmed Saleh’s effort saved by Vietnam goalkeeper Dang leaving the score at 3-1.
Vietnam’s Tran Minh Vuong missed with Vietnam’s fourth effort but Bùi Tien Dung made sure that the Vietnamese progressed to face either Japan or Saudi Arabia in the quarter finals.
Jordan who had sparked this tournament into life with the unexpected slaying of Australia were now the victims of giant-killing themselves, despite being 9 places behind Vietnam in the FIFA rankings.
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