Bangkok: Vietnam overcame a half-time deficit and the 30th minute red card of Nguyen Hoang Gian to draw 2-2 with Australia and secure top spot in Group B of the ASEAN Zone qualifiers for the 2012 AFC Futsal Championship ahead of the Futsalroos.
Australia were gifted a first-half lead at the Kiraves Indoor Stadium when Phung Trung Luan netted an own goal in the 13th minute, two minutes after Hoang Gian had received his first yellow card of the game.
Luu Quynh Toan drew Vietnam level four minutes into the second period before referee Kim Jang-kwan booked Hoang Gian for the second time six minutes later.
Two minutes after Hoang Gian’s red card, Chris Zeballos gave his side a 2-1 lead but Australia’s advantage would last just for minutes, with Nguyen Trong Thien’s 36th minute strike earning the draw for Vietnam which saw them finish the group phase with seven points, two more than the Futsalroos.
Vietnam will play the Group A runners-up in Saturday’s semi-finals while Australia take on the Group table toppers in the other final four fixture earlier in the day.
The two finalists and the winner of the third-place playoff on Sunday will advance to the 2012 AFC Futsal Championship finals which will be held in the UAE in May.
In the other Group B match, which took place at the same time over at the Krungthep Thonburi Indoor Stadium, Malaysia made a brave attempt at obtaining the unlikeliest of second-place finishes by defeating Cambodia 14-3.
The Malaysians needed to overturn a sizable goal difference and hope that Vietnam would defeat Australia but the Futsalroos drawing with the Group B leaders, the winning margin against the Cambodians proved to be academic.