Vietnam loses 0-2 to Saudi Arabia in Olympic football qualifier

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Vietnam's U23 players suffered a 0-2 away defeat to hosts Saudi Arabia Monday in the first leg of a qualifying round match for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Coach Phan Thanh Hung had the Vietnamese young men play defensively in the 4-5-1 formation in an effort to get a draw.

The Vietnamese players responded well to the plan and created a few scoring chances but failed to convert them. The hosts played more attacking football and took the lead right before the break when striker Alfaraj Farab scored the opener from a shot outside the penalty area.

After half time, coach Phan Thanh Hung made some changes to improve the front line in the hope of scoring an equalizer.

His hopes were destroyed when right fullback Tan Dat was sent off with a red card in the 68th minute, and the Vietnamese team had to struggle harder and play more defensively. But their efforts were in vain as the hosts doubled the score in the final minute with a Van Hau header scoring an own goal.

The Vietnamese team will take on Saudi Arabia at Hanoi's My Dinh Stadium in the second-leg on Tuesday June 21.

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