Hosts Vietnam were held 0-0 by Malaysia in the Group F opener of the qualifying round for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship 2012 in Ho Chi Minh City Monday.
Vietnam had aimed to beat Malaysia to get three points and be in a better position to face Myanmar, Laos and the Democratic Republic of Korea, but the Malaysians were energetic and tough.
The Vietnamese players played fast football but they could only control the ball better in their part of the field because the Malaysian rivals always kept close, leaving little space for the hosts to launch attacks.
The hosts had more men on the field after a Malaysian player was sent off with the second yellow card in the 60th minute, but couldn't take advantage of the situation.
The scoreless draw with Malaysia has made it difficult for the Vietnamese U19 team as they try to be one of two best teams in Group F to qualify for next year's AFC U19 Championship.
In another Monday match at Ho Chi Minh City's Thong Nhat Stadium, Laos and Myanmar fought to a 2-2 draw.