JAKARTA (19 Aug 2018) – Vietnam sprang a surprise on powerhouse Japan 1-0 to win Group D of the men’s football event at the Asian Games 2018 that was played this evening at the Wibawa Mukti Stadium.
Taking a leaf from ASEAN neighbour Malaysia’s win over defending champions South Korea two days earlier, Vietnam scored the only goal of the game early in the third minute with Nguyen Quang Hai capitalising on a lapse in Japan’s backline.
With the win, Vietnam topped Group D with Japan coming in as the runners-up to the Round of 16.
In the meantime, another ASEAN powerhouse Thailand fell a little short against Uzbeskistan when they fell to a 1-0 loss in the final match of Group B at the Pakan Sari Stadium.
Zabikhillo Urinboev headed in the winner early in the 17th minute as he made good on the cross from Ikromjon Alibaev.
The win gave Uzbeskistan the top spot in Group B as Thailand slipped down to third following Bangladesh’s fabulous win over Qatar in the other tie of the evening.
On the other hand, another ASEAN representative Timor Leste ended their campaign at the Asian Games at the bottom of Group C, where tonight they fell to their third defeat with a 5-2 loss to Syria.
But Timor Leste had the best of start when Walter Rufino Gama nailed the lead after just 15th minute.
However, Syria rebounded to score four goals at the hour mark off Zakri Hannan in the 33rd minute, Abdulhadi Shalha (42nd and 54th) and Mohamed Kamel Koaeh (50th).
And while Silvio Garcia managed to pull in the second goal on 85 minute, still Syria managed to end their fine evening with Shalha completing his hat-trick right at the end.