Vietnam team qualify for FIFA Futsal World Cup for second consecutive time
Vietnam have officially booked their place in the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup after beating Lebanon on the away-goals rule in the two-legged playoff, which was played at a centralised venue in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The two teams played out a goalless draw in the first leg on Sunday, with Vietnam named as the home side. That meant a tie with goals in the second leg would be just enough to send the Southeast Asian team through to the world’s largest futsal event for the second consecutive time.
Vietnam headed into the playoff decider on Tuesday (May 25) with the highest level of determination, knowing that scoring a goal as the visitors would bring them a big advantage and directly impact the aggregate result.
Given such spirit, Pham Minh Giang’s troops proactively deployed attacks and maintained pressure right from the first whistle. Meanwhile, Lebanon were somewhat more cautious compared to the first leg, implementing solid defence and launching counterattacks in the opening minutes.
Both teams managed to create a number of scoring opportunities; however, the brilliance of the two goalkeepers prevented them from getting off the mark before halftime.
In the second half, Vietnam continued with their high-paced attacking style, but it was Lebanon who produced more threats, forcing goalkeeper Ho Van Y to work hard to keep the sheet clean.
Vietnam’s constant efforts finally paid off in the 37th minute with an opener from Chau Doan Phat, who dribbled past a Lebanese player to burst down in the left flank and smashed the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs from a tight angle.
Although parity was restored almost a minute later thanks to Ali Tneich’s goal in a power-play situation, that was also all that Lebanon could do; in the remainder of the match, Vietnamese players successfully defended the 1-1 score to secure the World Cup spot on away goals.
With such a fantastic feat, the Standing Board of the Vietnam Football Federation has decided to grant a VND1 billion (US$43,408) bonus to the Vietnamese national futsal team.
Another Southeast Asian representative, Thailand, have also qualified for this year’s Futsal World Cup following an aggregate 11-2 playoff victory against Iraq (7-2 for the first leg, 4-0 for the second).
According to the FIFA-announced schedule, the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be hosted in Lithuania from September 12 to October 3 with the participation of 24 teams.
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