A hat-trick from Minh Tri Nguyen ensured Vietnam kicked-off their FIFA Futsal World Cup odyssey in perfect fashion with a 4-2 win over tournament veterans Guatemala in Medellin.
Nguyen scored Vietnam’s first-ever goal in a FIFA tournament and, although Wanderley Ruiz drew the CONCACAF side level, two more goals within a minute from the lively attacker were ultimately decisive en route to a much-celebrated victory.
Vietnam proved themselves to be a quick and skilled team from the outset, taking charge of the game and leaving little time for the Guatemalans to settle.
Vietnam’s efforts paid off at the end of the first period when Nguyen turned after receiving a long pass and fired home, for an historic moment for the south-east Asian nation.
Ruiz restored parity but then came Nguyen’s quickfire double, with the latter an impressive left-footed finish to complete his treble.
Guatemala, playing in their fourth successive tournament, upped the ante and were unlucky not to at least draw level in the latter stages with Miguel Santizo notably missing a gilt-edged opening.
Patricio Ruiz pulled a goal back with ten minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish, only for Van Vu Tran to end the contest in the final moments.
Vietnam will face Paraguay next up on Wednesday, while Guatemala tackle European heavyweights Italy.