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Late own goal ends Australia’s record run and hands Japan much-needed win

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Australia’s record-breaking run in World Cup qualifying ended on Tuesday when Aziz Behich’s late own goal handed Japan a lifeline as the Samurai Blue earned a 2-1 victory at Saitama Stadium.

Behich bundled the ball over his own goal line after Takuma Asano’s late shot looped up and hit the post, ensuring Australia missed out on a 12th straight win on the road to Qatar 2022.

Ao Tanaka had given Japan the lead in the ninth minute as the home side sought to pick up only their second victory after four games in the final phase of the continent’s qualifying campaign, a run that put coach Hajime Moriyasu under pressure.

The result moves third-placed Japan to within three points of the Socceroos, who lead Group B ahead of Saudi Arabia – also on nine points but with a game in hand – in the battle for two guaranteed places from the section at next year’s World Cup.

Tanaka was called up in place of Gaku Shibasaki and the midfielder impressed, striking across goalkeeper Mat Ryan to give the Japanese the lead.

But Ajdin Hrustic levelled the scores 20 minute from time with a curling free kick that went in off the underside of Shuichi Gonda’s crossbar after VAR had overturned a decision to award the Australians a penalty.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Asia Qualifiers - Group B - Japan v Australia - Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan - October 12, 2021 Australia's Mitch Duke celebrates their first goal, scored by Ajdin Hrustic. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – World Cup – Asia Qualifiers – Group B – Japan v Australia – Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan – October 12, 2021 Australia’s Mitch Duke celebrates their first goal, scored by Ajdin Hrustic. Photo: Reuters

The Japanese, who have qualified for every World Cup since 1998, were under huge pressure going into the game having won only one of their previous matches in the final phase of Asia’s preliminaries.

Moriyasu rung the changes, dropping Shibasaki – who was responsible for the goal Japan conceded against Saudi Arabia last week – and replacing him with the more dynamic Tanaka.

The change paid off in the ninth minute as Tanaka was found with time and space in the penalty area by Takumi Minamino, and the midfielder scored with a low shot past Ryan.

Japan had the opportunities to add to their tally with Junya Ito and Yuya Osako both missing the target, and they were to rue not taking those chances in the second half.

Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic went close before Hrustic was brought down on the edge of the area by Hidemasa Morita and, after referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim had initially awarded a penalty, VAR overturned the decision and gave a free kick.

It mattered little as Hrustic struck in style before Ryan kept a determined Japan at bay until Behich’s own goal.

Only the top two teams in each of Asia’s two qualifying groups advance automatically to the finals, with the third-placed teams going into a series of playoffs.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/sports/20211013/late-own-goal-ends-australia-s-record-run-and-hands-japan-muchneeded-win/63558.html

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Pianist Dang Thai Son’s student comes first at int’l Chopin piano competition

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Canadian pianist Bruce Xiaoyu Li, student of renowned Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son, has won the first prize at the 18th Chopin piano competition in Warsaw, Poland, which is considered the world’s most prestigious music awards.

Pianist Dang Thai Son’s student comes first at int’l Chopin piano competition hinh anh 1

Canadian pianist Bruce Xiaoyu Li (Photo courtesy of Chopin Institute).

Canadian pianist Bruce Xiaoyu Li, student of renowned Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son, has won the first prize at the 18th Chopin piano competition in Warsaw, Poland, which is considered the world’s most prestigious music awards.

Another student of Son, JJ Bui, won the 6th prize.

Son, who himself was the first Asian to win first prize and the gold medal at the same competition in 1980, expressed his pride on his students’ achievements on Facebook. The Vietnamese pianist is now teaching at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the US.

Held every five years since 1927, the Chopin competition would normally have been held last year, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s competition, held from October 2-23, drew 87 pianists from 18 nations across the globe, including 22 from China, 16 from Poland and 14 from Japan.

Broadcast live on YouTube and via a bespoke mobile app, the contest attracted record online interest. Some 70,000 people watched the result streamed online./.

Source: VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/entertainment-sports/pianist-dang-thai-son-s-student-comes-first-at-int-l-chopin-piano-competition-785034.html

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Hanoi stadium allows 12,000 spectators at World Cup qualifiers next month

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The Hanoi People’s Committee has announced that it will allow spectators to enjoy Vietnam’s matches against Japan and Saudi Arabia at My Dinh National Stadium in the final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers in November.

Chu Xuan Dung, deputy chairman of the committee, signed and sent the approval to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism on Thursday afternoon.

Dung allowed related units to sell tickets at 30 percent of My Dinh’s 40,000 seating capacity so that a maximum of 12,000 fans can lively support Vietnam in each of their games against Japan on November 11 and Saudi Arabia on November 16.

Spectators must have received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine for at least 14 days or have recovered from COVID-19 no more than six months prior, have a negative test result issued no more than 72 hours before the game, and strictly comply with social distancing recommendations at the stadium.

The deputy chairman requested the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) ensure security and safety for the participating teams and officials attending the matches.

In addition, the VFF must designate a hospital in advance to handle possible cases of injury, illness, or COVID-19 infection.

The sports ministry and the VFF had sought permission for the two qualifying games to take place with spectators’ attendance as Hanoi had escaped the brunt of a fierce wave of coronavirus infections which have rocked Vietnam since late April, with the capital city recording just 4,374 of the country’s 872,811 community transmissions.

The city’s new cases have been on the decline and the majority of its adult population have been at least partially vaccinated.

After a leader of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports said from the capital administration’s point of view, those two matches would take place behind closed doors, the VFF reported the issue to the prime minister via the sports ministry, leading to the U-turn.

Three places down

While enjoying Hanoi authorities’ approval for spectators to attend the World Cup qualifying matches, certain Vietnamese football fans were likely dismayed to hear that the Golden Stars slipped from 95th to 98th in the October update of the FIFA rankings on Thursday afternoon.

The demotion also saw Vietnam slide from 15th to 17th in the Asia rankings.

This is the first time in two years, from October 2019 to September 2021, that the Vietnamese have not placed in the top 15 of the continental football table.

This was foreseen as Vietnam lost all their first four games in the final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, most recently 1-3 to Oman, and are at the bottom of Group B with zero points.

If Vietnam are defeated by Japan and Saudi Arabia next month, they will definitely be knocked out of the top 100 in the FIFA rankings. 

The final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers is contested by two groups of six teams.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for next year’s tournament while the third-place teams will play for a spot via an inter-continental play-off.

This is the first time Vietnam have made it this far in the World Cup qualifiers.

The squad will resume training on October 25 as per their schedule.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/sports/20211022/hanoi-stadium-allows-12000-spectators-at-world-cup-qualifiers-next-month/63718.html

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Vietnam drop out of Asia top 15 after World Cup qualifier defeats

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Vietnam drop out of Asia top 15 after World Cup qualifier defeats

Midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc (number 14) in the World Cup qualifiers match between China and Vietnam on October 7, 2021. Photo by Asian Football Confederation


Vietnam have fallen out of Asia’s top 15 for the first time in two years in FIFA’s world rankings.

In the October update of the rankings, Vietnam lost 21.19 points to fall from 95th to 98th in the world and 17th in Asia.

In October 2019 the country had entered the top 15 for the first time in two decades.

With two losses in October in World Cup qualifiers, 2-3 to China and 1-3 to Oman, Vietnam established their longest losing streak ever of five matches.

They could exit the top 100 if they lose the next two World Cup qualifiers against Japan on October 11 and Saudi Arabia on the 16th.

The Golden Dragons will play both matches at home at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi.

In Southeast Asia, however, Vietnam remain top dogs followed by Thailand and the Philippines.

The world’s top three currently are Belgium, Brazil and France.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/sports/football/vietnam-drop-out-of-asia-top-15-after-world-cup-qualifier-defeats-4375387.html

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