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08:38 01/18/2016
Centre-back James Donachie and striker Jamie Maclaren scored in either half as Australia picked up their first points of the AFC U23 Championship with a 2-0 win over a hard-working Vietnam on Sunday at Grand Hamed Stadium.
 
Donachie opened the scoring inside the first two minutes as Aurelio Vidmar’s side looked to bounce back from Thursday’s 1-0 opening day defeat by the United Arab Emirates after the Olyroos conceded a last-gasp own goal.

And with Maclaren adding a second on the hour mark despite a determined display from Toshiya Miura’s Vietnam, Australia head intoWednesday’s meeting with Jordan firmly in the qualification picture in Group D.

Looking to make a belated start to their campaign following their heartbreaking defeat by the UAE at the same venue earlier in the week, Australia made the ideal start as Donachie was on hand to fire into the net via the underside of the crossbar from the edge of the six yard area after Vietnam defender Dao Duy Khanh had struggled to deal with Alex Gersbach’s corner after just two minutes.

And another Gersbach delivery two minutes later almost handed Australia a quickfire second, but fortunately for Vietnam, goalkeeper Phi Minh Long was able to apply a crucial touch as Duy Khanh’s near post header looked on course for the back of the net.

But despite the early setback, Vietnam remained in the contest with Ngyuen Cong Phuong providing a constant threat going forward, leading to recalled Australia midfielder Mustafa Amini picking up an 11th minute yellow card for upending the striker.

Australia, though, came close to a second 15 minutes before half-time as the Olyroos quickly worked the ball across to Andrew Hoole, but after the midfielder cut back inside the penalty area, Vietnam goalkeeper Minh Long stood up well at his near post.

Minh Long was then fortunate to save from Maclaren soon after as only an outstretched leg denied the striker as the Brisbane Roar forward connected with a pull back from team-mate Brandon Borrello, who shot wide just before half-time.

And the Vietnam goalkeeper continued to be required at the start of the second half as the custodian snuffed out a chance for Maclaren just two minutes after the restart from Borrello’s through ball before pushing away a flicked header from the striker a minute later, with Donachie unable to capitalise on the rebound.

But Maclaren finally found a way past Minh Long on the hour mark as the striker netted from the edge of the six yard area from Hoole’s pass after Vietnam had failed to clear the ball out of their penalty area after Amini had been denied by the goalkeeper.

That finally put daylight between the sides, although Vietnam continued to push for a goal that their display deserved and Miura’s side were only denied an 85th minute consolation as Australia goalkeeper Jack Duncan acrobatically turned Pham Manh Hung’s dipping free-kick over the crossbar.
Source: AFC

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