After Japan scored the opening goal in the 12th minute, Nguyen Dinh Bac headed backwards into Japan’s net to equalize for Vietnam four minutes later.

Nguyen Dinh Bac (No.15) and other players of Vietnam celebrate the leveling goal in the first half of the game against Japan. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Vietnam went in front in the 33rd minute, courtesy of Pham Tuan Hai, who tapped in the rebounded shot from a corner.

However, Japan continually scored two more goals after that to conclude the first half in 3 - 2.

In the second half, Vietnamese players showed confidence but still failed to keep their net safe from the stronger rivals, who found their fourth goal in the 85th minute.

The two goals for Vietnam were said to be beyond expectations, and the low-deficit defeat was acceptable and still a successful start for the team at the continent’s biggest football tournament in Qatar.

In Group D, after the game against Japan at Al Thumama Stadium, Vietnam will face Indonesia on January 19 and then Iraq on January 24.

Source: VNA