Vietnam's national football team beat Hyundai Mipo Dolphin from the Republic of Korea 2-1 in a friendly at Hanoi's Hang Day Stadium on Thursday.
In the team's two victories over V-League clubs Vicem Hai Phong and Hanoi T&T a few days before, football fans and pundits thought Vietnamese Czech central fullback Michal Nguyen played well but his compatriot Mac Hong Quan could do better.
However, Quan put on a superb performance on Thursday by scoring the winning goal after coming off the bench 13 minutes from full time.
In the Thursday match, Nguyen also played well, was calm and firm most of the time, combining well with central fullback Gia Tu to stop attacks from the visitors.
However, the Vietnamese defenders made a mistake in letting Lee Jae-Won's free kick go through the wall of Vietnamese players, beating goalkeeper Thanh Binh to level the score in the first half.
Coach Hoang Van Phuc did not dare to field many young players. He used experienced players like Thanh Luong, Tan Tan, Van Quyet and Quoc Anh. The 16th-minute opener for Vietnam came from a good combination between midfielders Thanh Luong and Quoc Anh who broke the Koreans' off-side trap to put the home side in the lead.
Observers feel that recent matches show that the Vietnamese players can do a good job if they play in high spirits. They are hoping the team will continue to shine in the 2014 Asian Championship qualifying match against the United Arab Emirates at Hanoi's My Dinh Stadium next Wednesday on February 6.
Speaking after the match, Hyundai Mipo Dolphin coach Cho Min-Kook said the Vietnamese national team played impressively, but he complained about the referees.
Vietnam's coach Hoang Van Phuc said, "The Vietnamese team made great improvements in the third friendly. I am not only satisfied with the result but also with the high spirits of the players and their great combination.
"The players controlled the ball better than they had done in the previous two games [against Hai Phong and Hanoi T&T]. They positioned themselves better. But the team still has some weaknesses in the defense."
Phuc said he was very pleased with the performances by Vietnamese Czech players Mac Hong Quan and Michal Nguyen.