Vietnam’s exit from the 2023 AFC U20 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, when they lost 1-3 to Iran in their final group-stage game. Despite putting up a valiant effort, the Vietnamese team was unable to overcome their Iranian opponents and ultimately bowed out of the competition.
Before the game, Vietnam were leading Group B with six points after two wins, needing only a draw to secure a place in the quarterfinals while Iran had no choice but to win.
Iran showed their resolve by pushing forward and creating numerous opportunities right from the beginning.
In the 36th minute, Mohammad Hazbavi gave Iran the lead with a well-executed header from a free kick.
Vietnam made two tactical changes, introducing Nguyen Quoc Viet and Nguyen Van Truong, and began to up the pressure after the break.
In the 56th minute, Khuat Van Khang made a crucial grab of a pass from Nguyen Hong Phuc, and unleashed a decisive shot that leveled the score for Vietnam.
After conceding, Iran substituted some speedy players, which proved to be effective choices.
From a breakthrough on the left flank in the 75th minute, the ball fell into Vietnam’s penalty area and Saeid Saharkhizan confidently finished, increasing Iran’s lead to 2-1.
In the remaining minutes, Vietnam’s players’ energy levels plummeted, preventing them from finding an equalizer.
They even conceded yet another goal in the 94th minute to Mohammad Hosseinnezhad.
The 1-3 defeat saw Vietnam eliminated from the tournament, as Australia trounced Qatar 9-1 in the other Group B game, taking them through to the quarterfinals along with Iran.