Though they fell to a 3-2 defeat away to the UAE and lost top spot in Group G, Vietnam advanced as one of the five best group runners-up.

Nguyen Tien Linh scores a goal in the 85th minute. Photo: bongda24h

Shortly after the start of the second half of the Vietnam-UAE game, Australia sealed a 1-0 win over Jordan, confirming Vietnam’s berth.

Although they conceded three goals, Vietnam showed their indomitability and scored two consolations by Nguyen Tien Linh in the 85th minute and Tran Minh Vuong in the second minute of stoppage time.

While they may have limped over the finish line, Vietnam are fully deserving of their place in the next round thanks to some gritty performances throughout a marathon qualification campaign lengthened by the pandemic.

Vietnam defeated Indonesia 4-0 and Malaysia 2-1 in previous fixtures as the second qualifying resumed this month.

They are the sole representatives of Southeast Asia among the squads qualifying for the final round, which is slated for September.

Source: VNA