AFF Suzuki Cup Group B: Indonesia hold Vietnam to draw, Cambodia beat Laos on matchday 4
The race between Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia to make the semi-final spots will go down to the wire in Group B.
Indonesia held Vietnam to a tense stalemate while Cambodia beat Laos to earn their first points of the campaign on matchday four in Group B at the Suzuki Cup.
The draw between Indonesia and Vietnam means that there will be all to play for in Group B on matchday five. Indonesia currently lead Group B with seven points, ahead of Vietnam on goal difference.
Malaysia meanwhile are in third place, on six points.
Reigning champions Vietnam will rue their failure to seize on the opportunity to qualify for the semi-finals early after they were pegged to a 0-0 draw by closest rivals in their group, Indonesia.
Vietnam dominated possession throughout but found the organised and disciplined Indonesia defence impenetrable.
Indonesia will take much pride in their display, considering that just six months earlier, they lost 4-0 to Vietnam in the World Cup qualifiers.
The result sets up a riveting final day of Group B fixtures on Sunday, with both teams and Malaysia still capable of progressing to the semi-finals.
Indonesia take on Malaysia at the National Stadium in a winner-takes-all game, knowing the victors will progress to the semi-finals. Vietnam will face Cambodia at the Bishan Stadium, knowing that they will need to pile on the goals as goal difference may come into play.
Both games will kickoff concurrently at 8:30pm.
In the earlier kick-off, Cambodia picked up their first victory of the tournament with an emphatic 3-0 win over Laos.
The Cambodian victory was inspired by their talisman forward Chan Vathanaka, who scored a brace. The 27-year-old opened the scoring in the 31st minute when he coolly rounded the Laotian keeper before firing the ball into the empty net. He doubled his tally and Cambodia’s 10 minutes later when his header from a cross from the left wing found the top corner.
The victory was sealed in the 74th minute when 19-year-old forward Sieng Chanthea was played through behind the Laotian defence, before elegantly passing the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Both teams, however, are out of the running for a semi-final spot. Laos end their Suzuki Cup campaign with four defeats in four matches, while Cambodia still have a chance to play their part in the race for the semi-final spots in Group B when they take on Vietnam on Sunday.