Hanoi: Two goals in three first-half minutes provided decisive for Vietnam as they ran out 3-0 winners over Cambodia to top Group A in a final-round group match at the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.

Heading into the contest at Hàng Day Stadium, Vietnam knew a draw would be enough to secure passing to the semi-finals but were fully focused on beating an already-eliminated Cambodian side that has largely struggled during this year’s competition.

But a determined Angkor Warriors outfit were hellbent on causing an upset despite earlier losses to Malaysia and Myanmar meaning they couldn’t progress from Group A.

In front of a packed crowd in Hanoi, Cambodia were lucky not to be behind on 15 minutes and have goalkeeper Oum Vicheth to thank for that, after he made a stunning acrobatic save to deny Phan Van Duc’s well-hit volley inside the area.

But after dominating large chunks of the first half, Vietnam opened the scoring in the 39th minute, after Trọng Hoàng’s pin-point cross found the head of Nguyễn Tiến Linh, who made no mistake with a clinical header giving Vichetch no chance in goal.

And it got worse for the visitors just two minutes later as Nguyễn Quang Hải doubled the home side’s lead after Nguyễn Phong Hồng Duy’s marauding run into the box saw space open up for the Hanoi FC midfielder.

Cambodia co-coach Keisuke Honda is back in Australia due to his playing commitments with Melbourne Victory and it was left to the tournament’s youngest coach, Dalmas, to take control for the Group A encounter and he had much to ponder at half time.

The Angkor Warriors failed to have a single shot in the first half, compared to Vietnam’s nine.

Trần Đình Trọng nearly made it three for Vietnam after being left unchecked in midfield early in the second half but his shot sailed just over the bar from long range.

But the home side didn’t have to wait long for a third goal, which came through Phan Văn Đức after he calmly controlled the ball just outside the box before swivelling and clinically finishing to put the game beyond doubt in the 61st minute.

Cambodia bow out of this year’s tournament with just one win from four matches, while Vietnam finish top of Group A to put themselves in pole position to make a deep run at this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup.