Vietnam's football authorities have launched an investigation into the humiliating loss of the home side to Malaysia last night at My Dinh Stadium, which led to the country being knocked out of the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup.

"No one understands what happened on the field," said the chairman of the Vietnam Football Federation, Le Hung Dung. "Watching the entire journey of Vietnam soccer team against Laos, Philippines until the semifinal against Malaysia , we saw a very good team."


Vietnamese players (red) all cried after losing 4-2 to Malaysia at My Dinh Stadium on December 11.

The investigation will examine whether there was any indication of match fixing by those gambling on the outcome of the match, which Vietnam lost 4-2 against Malaysia, despite a 2-1 win in Selangor, Malaysia, on Sunday.

The loss knocked Vietnam out of the AFF Cup and relegated it to third place, along with the Philippines.

"The players' performance was very different to what they did before," said the VFF chairman.

"The team's defeat on December 11 night seems very suspicious," Dung said. "Are they really that bad or not?

"The first leg played very well. I will ask the police to investigate. I want to know whether it was just a matter of their poor performance."

Vietnam coach Toshyia Miura accepted responsibility for the surprise loss, in front of a sold-out 40,000 crowd. He said the team lost because it lacked experience, but all the players were fired up going into the game. A series of penalty and tactical blunders let Malaysia drive in four goals in the first half, which the home side struggled to redeem.

Miura said that if the VFF wanted an explanation for the loss, he was ready to explain what happened.

Defensive mistakes deprive Vietnam of final berth

Vietnam fell short of their championship dreams at this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup season as they dropped the remaining final ticket to Malaysia following a disappointing 2-4 loss in their second-leg semifinal match at My Dinh Stadium on the night of December 11.

Vietnam started the match confidently with their spirits strongly boosted by the first-leg 2-1 victory over Malaysia at Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor. However, Malaysia proved to be a tougher opponent than previously anticipated from their match just a few days ago.

The guests played offensively right from the start and promptly went ahead after just three minutes with a successful penalty converter from Safiq Rahim.

Vietnam missed the chance to level the game with Van Quyet in an offside position after taking a convenient ninth-minute pass from Thanh Luong.

While stuck to find the equaliser, Vietnam had to concede the second goal in the 16th minute as a result of their defensive mistakes.

Cong Vinh pulled back a goal for the hosts from the penalty spot in the 21st minute, but Malaysia restored their two-goal lead eight minutes later, after Tien Thanh blasted his own goal.

Vietnam continued to pay dearly for their defensive mistakes as Bin Adin fired a close-range header to make it 4-1 for Malaysia just a few minutes before the break.

The second half witnessed Vietnam’s concerted equalising efforts with constant attacks on the Malaysian side, while the guests played defensively, aiming to safeguard their first-half advantage.

Cong Vinh managed to narrow the gap to 2-4 for Vietnam in the 79th minute, but his shining performance still could not save Vietnam from an aggregate defeat, with no more goals scored in the remainder of the game.

Beating Vietnam 5-4 overall, Malaysia will join Thailand in the final round scheduled on December 17 (first leg) and December 20 (second leg).

National team fails fans with loss to Malaysia

Vietnam went down to a humiliating defeat against Malaysia last night (December 11) at a packed My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi in a crucial ASEAN Football Federation semi-final match, the national team being knocked out of cup contention.

Despite winning its first semi-final clash with Malaysia last weekend by 2-1, a victory that sparked clashes between Malaysian and Vietnamese fans at Selangor in Malaysia, Vietnam failed to defend its advantage in front of a 40,000-strong crowd, losing 4-2 on its home ground.

Commentators blamed Vietnam's woeful defence for the crushing loss, with mistakes up and down the pitch. A goal-mouth foul in the fourth minute opened the door for Malaysia.

In the 29th minute, an attempted block by Mai Tien Thanh sent the ball into the goal, giving Malaysia a 3-1 lead. By halftime, Malaysia had scored four goals. The second half might have redeemed the local side, but it could not break through a well organised defence.

Vietnam is now out of the race for the AFF Suzuki Cup, having lost 5-4 on aggregate.

"I want to apologise to all Vietnamese football fans," said midfielder Huy Toan. "Thank you for following and cheering for us."

More than one thousand police were mobilise to ensure security at My Dinh Stadium after Malaysian fans attacked Vietnamese fans last Sunday. No incidents were reported during or after last night's match.

Midfielder Thanh Luong said, "As a player, I always wanted to bring back victory and happiness to the fans. As a father, I also wanted to bring victory for my kids. But there's a thin line between winning and losing in football. I sincerely apologise to all the fans who have been supporting us."

Coach Toshyia Miura and the team apologised after the match, adding they hoped they would continue to receive support in future tournaments.

Malaysia will now play Thailand in a two-leg final, and Vietnam and the Philippines will share third place.