AFF Suzuki Cup: Late error denies Vietnam opening win over Vietnam
A dreadful error by goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh allowed Indonesia to snatch a 2-2 draw with Vietnam in their opening Group A game at the AFF Suzuki Cup on Saturday.
The tournament co-hosts had appeared to be headed for victory in front of a partisan crowd at My Dinh Stadium thanks to a superb second-half strike by Le Cong Vinh when disaster struck with only six minutes remaining.
Nguyen Manh appeared to have Samsul Arif`s weak effort from the right of the Vietnam box well covered but he dived over the ball and allowed it to trickle between his arms and legs as the the visitors levelled the score for the second time in the game.
The goalkeeper`s mistake took the shine off a wondrous effort by Cong Vinh to give his side the lead in the 68th minute.
Playing in the same stadium where he netted a dramatic stoppage-time winner against Thailand in the 2008 Suzuki Cup final, the substitute fired a superb half-volley into the top right corner of the net to give Vietnam a 2-1 lead.
The home side had earlier taken an 11th minute lead when Que Ngoc Hai had side-footed a volley into the top corner of the net but Indonesia got back on level terms in the 33rd minute after Zulham Malik Zamrun`s capitalised on Dinh Tien Thanh`s weak back-header to turn the ball past Nguyen Manh.
Philippines lead Group A after a brace by substitute Patrick Reichelt helped them to come from behind to beat qualifiers Laos 4-1 earlier on Saturday.
After absorbing early pressure by the Philippines, the Laotians took a surprise lead in the 22nd minute when Khampheng Sayavutth fired home a magnificent free-kick.
However, the Azkals turned things around before the interval as Simone Rota glanced in a Manuel Ott corner in the 40th minute before Phil Younghusband headed in Jerry Lucena`s inviting cross on the stroke of half-time.
It was Younghusband`s 41st international goal and the striker turned provider for both of Reichelt`s goals in the second half, playing a neat through ball for the substitute to slot home in the 77th minute before sending in a low cross that was turned in from close range two minutes from time.