Vietnam Keep World Cup Dreams Alive with Victory Over Philippines

The victory has ignited a burning desire within the Vietnamese football team and the nation's fans, fueling their dream of qualifying for the World Cup in the near future.

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Vietnam secured a thrilling 3–2 victory over the Philippines in their fifth match of the 2026 World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Vietnamese players celebrate their win over the Philippines. Photo: Ngoc Tu/The Hanoi Times

The match was highly anticipated, marking Vietnam’s first official game under new head coach Kim Sang-sik, who took over the national team in early May.

Vietnam dominated the game and displayed some impressive offensive moves, but their finishing in the final third lacked precision. Meanwhile, the Philippines caused several dangerous moments, coming close to scoring on multiple occasions.

The first half ended goalless, but the second half saw a flurry of action. In the 62nd minute, Philippine striker Patrick Reichelt broke the deadlock with a counterattack goal. However, Vietnam quickly responded through striker Nguyen Tien Linh, who equalized just three minutes later. Linh then put Vietnam ahead in the 77th minute with a well-taken header.

The Philippines refused to give up and equalized again through midfielder Kevin Ingreso in the 88th minute. As the game headed into extra time, substitute striker Nguyen Tuan Hai stepped up to score the winning goal for Vietnam in the 95th minute.

With this win, Vietnam moves into third place in Group F with six points. Indonesia sits in second place with seven points, while Iraq has already qualified for the third round with 15 points. Vietnam still has a chance to advance if they can avoid defeat against Iraq in their final match and hope that Indonesia does not beat the Philippines.

A Positive Start for Coach Kim

This victory marks a positive start for Coach Kim Sang-sik, ending a streak of seven consecutive losses under the previous coach, Philippe Troussier. In the post-match press conference, Coach Kim acknowledged the unpredictability of football, highlighting the importance of having outstanding players like Tien Linh and Tuan Hai, who delivered when it mattered.

“We only had five days of training, but we gave it our all,” he added, emphasizing the team’s determination and heart as key factors in their win. Soccer expert Phan Anh Tu attributed the victory to Coach Kim’s tactical approach, given the limited preparation time and the players’ V-League commitments. Tu noted that the team was not in the best shape to play a fast, transitional style of football as expected.

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