Dubai (AFP) – Vietnam emerged victorious from a penalty shoot out with Jordan to become the first team to reach the Asian Cup quarter-finals on Sunday — after being the last side to scrape into the round of 16.
After extra-time finished at 1-1, BT Dung rolled in the decisive spot-kick for a 4-2 penalties win and saluted the crowd after Baha Faisal and Ahmed Samir had missed for Jordan.
The dramatic win upset the odds after Jordan were the first to qualify for the knockouts, and Vietnam only went through because of their disciplinary record after they finished with an identical points and goals record to Lebanon.
However, the Southeast Asian champions came back from a goal down to force extra time, and they were on balance the stronger and more positive team over the 120 minutes.
Vital Borkelmans’ Jordan came into the game as the form side and they spurned a number of chances before opening the scoring six minutes from half-time.
Baha Abdel-Rahman, taking a free kick from the right edge of the penalty area, hit it just right as the ball bent around the wall and flew into the top corner.
However, the goal stung Vietnam into action and they nearly hit back when Hung Dung’s dipping shot was tipped over by Jordan goalkeeper Amer Shafi.
Vietnam, who won Southeast Asia’s Suzuki Cup in December, levelled six minutes after the break, when Cong Phuong showed great technique to steer home a volley from close range.
On the hour-mark, Van Duc nearly snatched it for the Vietnamese but his dink over Shafi was hacked off the line by Anas Bani-Yaseen.
And Jordan’s Yaseen Bakheet had a great chance to grab the win in the first period of extra time, but from a high ball into the box he ballooned his volley over.
Dubai’s Al Maktoum Stadium was thick with tension for the spot-kicks and when Faisal hit the bar and Van Lam saved from Salih, Vietnam were very much in the driving seat.
Shafi, diving low, saved Minh Vuong’s attempt but it was only delaying defeat as Dung coolly netted the winner, giving a military salute in celebration before being mobbed by his team-mates.
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