Vietnam emerges as Azkals' closest pursuer heading into last day of Suzuki Cup group stage

HANOI — Vietnam emerged as the closest pursuer of the Philippines heading into the last day of the Group A hostilities of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup.

The host team blanked Laos, 3-0, on Tuesday night to move to solo second with four points behind the group-leading Azkals, who have six points to show following a 4-0 shutout of Indonesia earlier.

[See Azkals book ticket to Suzuki Cup semis with stunning shutout of Indonesia]

Vietnam’s victory removed its last-placed victim out of contention, while sending Indonesia, with one point to show, on the verge of elimination.

Le Cong Vinh, Nguyen Huy Hung, and Vu Minh Tuan were on target for Vietnam, which can still supplant the Azkals, who are already assured of a semifinal berth, from top spot with a win against the Filipinos on Friday.

But the Vietnamese are also in danger of elimination if they lose to the Azkals, Indonesia beats Laos, and the Indonesians win over goal difference.

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