Vietnam vs Indonesia

The stakes are high as Vietnam and Indonesia go head-to-head in a must-win Asian Cup Group D encounter at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.

Vietnam’s second Asian Cup appearance on the trot produced an expected result as they lost 4-3 to tournament favorites Japan despite netting two first-half goals. Interestingly, the Vietnamese have reached the knockout stages in all four previous Asian Cup participations, suggesting a slow start may not necessarily rule them out as possible Group D runners-up. But to achieve that feat, the ‘Golden Star Warriors’ must end their underwhelming three-match losing streak, preferably with a win. It shouldn’t be beyond them, considering they’ve emerged victorious in three of their last five encounters against Indonesia (D2). Not only did each of those three triumphs come via multi-goal margins, but they’ve held the Indonesians scoreless across their four most recent H2Hs.

On the other hand, Indonesia’s hopes of progressing beyond the Asian Cup group stages for the first time in the nation’s history took an early blow as Iraq thumped Shin Tae-yong’s side 3-1 in the opening round. It’s been 17 years since Indonesia’s last appearance in the tournament, so their rusty day-one performance could’ve emanated from a lack of experience. But the problem goes deeper, as they’ve now lost four internationals in a row, conceding 2+ goals on each occasion. Since the last international break of 2023 onwards, the ‘Red and Whites’ have suffered five defeats in six games (D1), averaging only 0.66 goals per match. Expecting them to defy their scoring woes here would be a massive ask, considering their four-match drought against Vietnam.

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