Two goals each by Van Toan and Cong Vinh helped Vietnam beat Taiwan in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Hanoi Thursday and retain hope of going through to the next round.
Vietnamese coach Huu Thang said he had been confident about his team but a 4-1 win was unexpected.
“[The] team has many young players with good skills. They followed my strategy of short passing and movement,” the former Song Lam Nghe An coach said following his debut as coach of the national team after replacing Japanese Toshiya Miura.
The only goal for Taiwan was scored in the seventh minute by Wu Chun Ching before they were overwhelmed by the home team at the My Dinh Stadium.
Two minutes later Vietnam leveled with a volley by Vinh off a pass by Thanh Luong.
Vietnam continued to attack and went ahead in the 29th minute with a header by Toan.
The 20-year-old striker from Hoang Anh Gia Lai got his second in the 42nd minute after moving past a Taiwan defender to receive a pinpoint pass from Xuan Truong.
It was Truong again who passed for Vinh to score his second in extra time.
Vietnam are third in Group F with 7 points behind Thailand with 14 and Iraq with 9.
Vietnam play Iraq on March 29. Both teams have a game in hand and will compete for a spot in the next round.