Dec 15 (Reuters) - Vietnam won the Asean Football Federation Championship for the first time in a decade as Nguyen Anh Duc’s volley secured a 1-0 win over Malaysia in the second leg of the final in Hanoi on Saturday for a 3-2 aggregate triumph.
Vietnam last won the regional title in 2008 and Anh Duc’s fine first-half strike ensured Park Hang-seo’s side overcame a robust Malaysia team to send the majority of the sold-out crowd at the My Dinh Stadium into raptures.
Needing to score to have any hope of winning the title after a 2-2 draw in the opening leg in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, the Malaysians went behind after six minutes when Anh Duc struck.
The visitors had every right to feel aggrieved, however, with talented winger Nguyen Quang Hai appearing to be offside before delivering the cross from which his team mate struck.
Malaysia’s Syahmi Safari, who scored against Thailand in the semi-finals with a spectacular long-range effort, threatened to do something similar a minute before halftime, only for goalkeeper Dang Van Lam to palm the ball to safety.
Five minutes after the restart Van Lam was again in action as he unconvincingly dealt with Mohamadou Sumareh’s goal-bound header as Malaysia pressed for an equaliser.
Vietnam will next feature at the finals of the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates in January, where Park and his players have been drawn to face Iran, Iraq and Yemen. (Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Ken Ferris)