Football

Vietnam to meet Malaysia in Suzuki Cup final

Vietnam joined Malaysia in the final of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup after a 2-1 second-leg victory over the Philippines in Hanoi yesterday gave them a 4-2 aggregate win in their semi-final.

Two late goals from Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyen Cong Phuong were enough to send Vietnam, 2-1 ahead from the first leg on Sunday, to their first final of the South-east Asian biennial tournament since winning the trophy in 2008.

Under former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, the Philippines rarely looked like overturning the deficit from the first leg and fell at the semifinal stage for the fourth time in the last five editions.

In front of 40,000 fans in Hanoi, Vietnam made most of the running and had most of the chances but were unable to add to the two goals scored in the first leg until seven minutes from time.

After Vietnam's goals in the 83rd and 87th minutes, James Younghusband pulled one back for the Philippines with a minute remaining.

Vietnam, led by South Korean coach Park Hang Seo, will be favourites to become regional champions for the second time.

They beat Malaysia in the group stage last month, winning 2-0 in Hanoi.

The first leg of the final will take place in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 11, with the return match scheduled for Hanoi four days later. - AFP

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