Vietnam got off to a flying start at the 2015 Asian Games in Incheon after claiming a stunning 4-1 win over Iran at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium on Monday.
Although they entered the Group H match as huge underdogs, Vietnam edged ahead in the 24th minute when Mac Hong Quan cleverly broke free down the right before playing the ball to the back post for Vo Huy Toan to smash home.
Four minutes later, it was 2-0 when Hong Quan brilliantly skipped past Mohammadreza Khanzadeh twice before lashing his shot past Hojjat Segdhi.
Iran did pull one back six minutes after the hour mark through a Mohsen Mosalman penalty, which was awarded after Mehdi Sharifi had been hacked down by opposition keeper Tran Buu Ngoc just inside the area.
However, it took the Vietnamese just three minutes to restore their two-goal cushion as Tran Phi Son broke into the box after exchanging a neat one-two before rifling the ball into the back of the net.
The rout was then completed in the 82nd minute when Ngo Hoang Thinh lined up an indirect freekick and smashed the ball home from eight yards, after Segdhi had been penalised for catching a back-pass.
And to make matters worse for the Iranians, they finished the game with ten men following a red card to Khanzadeh, who was booked for clattering into Buu Ngoc before being shown a second yellow moments later for shoving over an opponent.
With only three teams in their group, Vietnam are almost certain to qualify for the knockout round and are in action again on September 22 when they take on Krygyzstan.
Over in Group E, Indonesia got off to a flyer as they claimed an emphatic 7-0 triumph over neighbours Timor Leste at the Goyang Stadium.
Ferdinand Sinaga opened the scoring after seven minutes when he was left with a simple tap-in, after Bayu Gatra Sanggiawan had hit the byline and cut the ball back to him.
Merah Putih then doubled their lead four minutes later when Syakir Sulaiman touched a cross into the path of Sinaga to leave him with another close-range finish.
The Persib Bandung forward then completed his hat-trick five minutes after the half-hour mark when he raced through after beating the offside trap, before firing away a left-footed shot that took a wicked deflection and looped over a hapless Ramos Maxanches.
Despite holding a comfortable lead, the Indonesians were in no mood to take their foot off the pedal and added a fourth in the 75th minute; Alfin Tuasalamony converting from 12 yards after his side had been awarded a penalty.
Novri Setiawan was next to get in on the act as he skipped past Maxanches after being played through by Fandi Eko’s lovely pass before slotting into the unguarded net six minutes later.
Sinaga was also not done yet and notched his fourth of the evening in the 83rd minute after skipping inside Paulo Cesar da Silva Martins and firing into the back of the net.
And the rout was completed five minutes before the end as Sinaga’s blistering drive could only be parried by Maxanches, leaving Fandi with the simple task of volleying home on the rebound.
Group E’s second game saw Thailand also kick off their campaign with a win after they defeated Maldives 2-0.
Following a goalless first half, the War Elephants broke the deadlock when Narubodin Weerawatnodom climbed highest inside the six-yard box to head home Kroekrit Thaweekarn’s corner.
Nonetheless, they were unable to seal the win until the 85th minute when their second goal arrived after Adisak Kraisorn met a right-wing delivery and clinically swept a first-time effort into the far corner.
Monday’s 2015 Asian Games Results
Bangladesh 1-0 Afghanistan
Uzbekistan 1-1 Hong Kong
Timor Leste 0-7 Indonesia
Thailand 2-0 Maldives
Korea DPR 3-0 China
United Arab Emirates 5-0 India
Iran 1-4 Vietnam