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Vietnam join Malaysia in quarterfinals of AFC U23 Championship

Vietnam join Malaysia in quarterfinals of AFC U23 Championship
From ESPN - January 17, 2018

Vietnam survived a second onslaught from Syria to claim the point they needed to join Malaysia in the AFC U23 quarterfinals in China.

The two nations progressed to the last eight, while 2016 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games champions Thailand were eliminated.

A goalless draw was enough for the Vietnamese to finish the group as runners-up to South Korea -- the home country of their head coach Park Hang-Seo.

The Koreans survived a fightback from Australia to win Group D's other game 3-2. South Korea now face Malaysia on Saturday, while Vietnam will play Iraq for a place in the semifinals.

As in their 1-0 victory over Australia on Matchday Two, Vietnam set out in a defensive shape against Syria, allowing them most of the possession and looking for opportunities on the break.

FT: Syria0 - 0 Vietnam

A goalless draw is enough to send Vietnam through to the #AFCU23 quarter-finals! #SYRvVIE pic.twitter.com/O57iFFYcPE

#AFCU23 (@theafcdotcom) January 17, 2018

While the Syrians dominated, poor finishing let their opponents off the hook time and again.

In a rare attack, Cong Phuong's angle drive almost put Vietnam ahead midway through the second half, and this seemed to spur Syria into action.

A shot was cleared off the line, and Rafat Muhtadi headed wide when he looked certain to score as the Golden Dragons started to hang on.

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