Vietnam (in white) again miss out on their first points in the final round of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Asian Qualifiers. (Photo: VnExpress)
NDO – Vietnam squandered a one-goal lead to concede a 1-3 defeat against Oman on Matchday 4 of Group B in the final round of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Asian Qualifiers.
Striker Nguyen Tien Linh got the Golden Star Warriors off the mark late in the first half, but three goals by Issam (45’+2), Mohsin Al-Khaldi (48’), and Salaah (penalty, 64’) gifted the home side their second win in the campaign.
Oman produced a better start and should have gone ahead after 14 minutes as defender Ho Tan Tai’s unnecessary infringement in the box handed them a penalty. However, Mohsin Al-Khaldi missed out on an opener for the hosts by shooting high over the bar.
Branko Ivankovic’s side again threatened to score in the 28th minute with Issam firing a low shot in a favourable position, but Nguyen Phong Hong Duy stretched his leg to rescue the Vietnamese side.
After surviving an early scare, Vietnam gradually found back their rhythm and suddenly broke the deadlock six minutes before halftime thanks to Nguyen Tien Linh’s rapid fire from close range. Goalkeeper Faiyz Al Rashidi brilliantly saved Ho Tan Tai’s strike but could not prevent Tien Linh from converting a rebound.
However, the Golden Star Warriors dropped their advantage in injury time with Issam skewing an unstoppable half volley to restore the parity for the home side.
Vietnam’s ambition for their first win in the last qualifying round took a knock shortly after the break as Oman added a second goal with Mohsin Al-Khaldi directly scoring from a cornerkick situation.
Oman were denied a third in the 57th minute due to offside infraction, but needed just seven more minutes to widen the gap thanks to Salaah’s successful penalty converter.
Goalie Van Toan rescued Vietnam from further lagging behind by saving Issam’s one-on-one effort nine minutes from the hour mark.
The Golden Star Warriors came very close to bridging the deficit in the last official minute of play as Cong Phuong’s decisive long-range rocket unexpectedly hit the post.
With the defeat, Park’s troops extended their losing run in the final World Cup qualifying round to four games. Meanwhile, Oman moved level with Japan on six points after two victories.
Earlier on the same day, Australia missed the chance to solidify their Group B top spot after losing 1-2 against Japan.
Vietnam will next return home to host Japan on Matchday 5 on November 11.
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