Hanoi: Goals from Nguyen Cong Phuong and Nguyen Ahn Duc gave Vietnam their second win from as many matches as they defeated Malaysia 2-0 in Hanoi on Friday. 

A capacity crowd greeted the players at the My Dinh National Stadium, creating a fantastic atmosphere befitting the occasion, with a vocal army of Malaysian fans also in attendance.

But it was the red-clad home fans who were cheering loudest after just 11 minutes when Doan Van Hau made an incisive run down the left, playing the ball back for Ahn Duc whose scuffed shot fell perfectly for Cong Phuong to poke him to make it two goals in two games for the 23-year-old.

From that point forward though, it was the Malaysians who dominated the remainder of the half, but for all their possession they couldn’t penetrate the Vietnamese defence.

Despite being the away team, Tan Cheng Hoe’s side enjoyed more than 60% of the possession in the first half, but they had little to show for it at half time with just two shots to their name.

The introduction of exciting winger Safawi Rasid just before the hour mark almost paid immediate dividends for Malaysia, coming on to take a free kick just outside the 18 yard box from which he forced a five save from Dong Van Lam. 

It would prove to be an important save as just two minutes later Phan Van Duc slipped a delightful ball in behind the Malaysian defence for Ahn Duc who made no mistake with his first-time strike to double to lead for Park Hang-seo’s side.

Like Cong Phuong, that goal was also Ahn Duc’s second of the tournament, with the duo proving to be a dangerous double-act for this Vietnamese side.

The win sees Vietnam jump to second in Group A, behind Myanmar on goals scored. And it is Myanmar who the Golden Stars will next face when they travel to Yangon for a mouth-watering encounter that will possibly decide which team will top the group.

Malaysia, meanwhile, has a bye on Matchday Four before rounding out their group stage at home to Myanmar on Saturday 24 November.