HANOI (AFP) - Uruguayan-born striker Sebastian Quintana Soria rescued Qatar from the jaws of defeat as they battled back for a 1-1 draw against unfancied co-hosts Vietnam here Thursday.
Soria, whose 88th-minute free kick secured a 1-1 draw against defending champions Japan in their Group B opener, struck late again with a 79th-minute header that cancelled out an early strike by Vietnam forward Phan Thanh Binh.
The result still left Vietnam, who upset United Arab Emirates when they returned to the continental cup finals for the first time in 47 years, at the top of the group on four points.
Asian Games gold medallists Qatar have two points with Japan on one. Japan and the UAE face each other on Friday.
"I am satisfied with how our team played," Qatar coach Dzemaludin Musovic said. "Both teams tried to play a good quality of football.
"The situation in the whole group has become open, Everything is possible," added the Bosnian, who was assistant to Japan coach Ivica Osim when they led the former Yugoslavia to the 1990 World Cup quarter-finals.
Vietnam coach Alfred Riedl said the result was "lucky."
"Qatar were especially strong in the last 20-25 minutes as they created a lot of chances. We had some difficult situations," said the Austrian, now in his third stint as Vietnam coach since 1998.
"We'll try to get points from Japan. Otherwise we should't be here," Riedl added. "We will not make it easy for Japan."
Phan's goal came in the 32nd minute when he caught the ball on a counter-attack in midfield and drilled a 20-metre shot toward the goal.
In a comical schoolboy error, Qatar goalkeeper Mohamed Saqr fumbled the ball and it squirmed underneath him and dribbled over the line.
Qatar controlled the game early on with Soria the danger man, causing all sorts of problems for goalkeeper Phung Van Nhien.
But Vietnam slowly picked up their pace with sporadic attacks as the full-house crowd got behind their team.
It was Soria though who came closest to drawing first blood in the 21st minute when his shot through two defenders was gathered by Phung, before Panh broke the deadlock.
The game heated up in the second half as the partisan sellout crowd of 40,000 chanted "Vietnam, Vietnam" and roared on their team with Mexican waves at the My Dinh National Stadium, sensing another shock victory.
They held their breath in astonishment when Qatar launched a blistering attack in the 62nd minute with Hassan Magid banging the ball off the far post and Soria pushing the rebound wide.
But Soria always looked dangerous and headed in a rebound off substitute Ali Yahya's shot in the 79th minute.
Qatar squandered a golden chance to win the game four minutes later when Yahya rattled the bar and headed the rebound onto the top of the net.
|15||Talal Al Bloushi||22'|
|Coach: D. Mušović|
for Waleed Jassem 58'
for Adel Lamy 73'
for Majed Mohammed 78'
for Vũ Như Thành 55'
for Phan Văn Tài Em 82'
for Phan Thanh Bình 90+4'
|Arnesen backs ´champion´ Van Gaal for success at United|
|McCarthy robbed at gunpoint|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Guingamp: Champions out to pile pressure on Lyon|
|Benitez agent to meet with De Laurentiis|
|Chelsea´s ´boring´ style not an issue - Arnesen|
|Ramos laments poor Turin display|
|Southampton to place trust in academy - Reed|
|Bale not listening to failed managers - agent|
|Bigirimana believes relegation could be good for Newcastle|
|Chelsea still hungry for Liverpool win - Matic|
|Bournemouth to invest in players before stadium|
|Police visit Sports Direct over Rangers investigation|
|Guard of honour should spark Liverpool - Lallana|
|Liverpool to sign teenage Portuguese star|
|Thiago would´ve stayed at Barca under Pep|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Tigres advance to quarters|
|Houston Dynamo 0 San Jose Earthquakes 1: Kinnear claims triumphant Texas return|
|Martinez: Everton got carried away during unbeaten run|
|Neymar has flourished with captaincy - Dunga|
|A-League Preview: Victory, City to meet in biggest Melbourne derby|
|Ramos: Real Madrid in box seat|
|´Bale gave Real nothing´ - Keane|
|Hill backs Ramsey for QPR job|
|Ancelotti confident of Real revival|
|Allegri rues late Llorente miss in Juve triumph|
|Juve sent a warning - Pirlo|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2 Dundee United 1: Ofere and Williams keep European dream alive|
|Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Spot-on Tevez earns first-leg lead|
|Sturridge hip surgery a success|
|Coloccini calls for unity as Newcastle target survival|
|Doumbia cleared to make Milan trip|
|Harper calls for Hull unity|
|Guardiola not distracted by Barca homecoming|
|No defence can stop Barca star Messi - Guardiola|
|Neuer ready to face Barca strike trio|
|Napoli v Dnipro: Benitez seeks to make experience count|
|Jones ready for United return|
|Injury rules Oscar out of Brazil´s Copa squad|
|Mazinho proud ahead of Barca v Bayern contest|
|Sevilla v Fiorentina: Kolodziejczak confident ahead of semi-final test|
|Skipper Soriano set for Villarreal return|
|Martinez wary of Pienaar risk|
|AFC Champions League Review: Holders Western Sydney out due to last-gasp Seoul winner|
|Barca focused ahead of Pep return - Luis Enrique|
|Messi has ´no problem´ with Luis Enrique|
|Relegated Tranmere appoint Brabin|
|Ujah agrees Werder transfer|
|Magath backs Guardiola to remain at Bayern|
|Mathieu out of Bayern clash|
|Burnley appeal Duff dismissal|
|Setif drawn in Algeria-heavy Champions League group|
|Terry calls for new Drogba deal|
|Saul agrees bumper Atletico deal|
|Arsenal need to finish season strongly - Wenger|
|New Bilbao deal for Gurpegi|
|Pepe puts Morata friendship aside for Champions League match-up|
|Terry: Too long between titles|
|Hazard can be as good as Messi, Ronaldo - Fabregas|
|Carlisle ´deeply ashamed´ about suicide attempt|
|Tevez planning to win Champions League with Juve|
|Blatter ´knows absolutely nothing´ - Maradona|
|Allegri: Ancelotti a smart man|
|Sunderland academy coach to manage Oldham|
|Primeira Liga Review: Braga secure Europa League berth|
|Bruce backing Hull to respond against Burnley|
|Almeria 2 Celta Vigo 2: Bifouma, Zongo inspire hosts´ comeback|
|Arsenal can mount title bid - Wenger|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Besiktas and Galatasaray remain locked at the top|
|Cagliari 4 Parma 0: Festa revival back in gear|
|Hull City 1 Arsenal 3: Sanchez at the double as visitors close on second|
|Blackpool - Huddersfield game will not be finished|
|Allegri vindicated by Juventus success|
|Russian Premier League Review: Krasnodar close the gap as Zenit slip up|
|Al Ahly dismiss Garrido|
|MLS Preview: Kinnear returns to Dynamo with Earthquakes|
|Ancelotti all out for victory against Juventus|
|Ramires recovering well after sickness|
|Prince Ali would back rival FIFA candidate to oust Blatter|
|Barcelona v Bayern Munich: Guardiola makes Camp Nou return|
|Kruse a target for Wolfsburg - Allofs|
|Fletcher backing Bournemouth to ´surprise a few´|
|Bremen agree deal with Fritz|
|Carver gets Newcastle backing|
|Blaszczykowski suffers groin tear|
|Boateng warns of Barca ´storm´|
|Brouwers agrees Gladbach extension|
|Benzema to miss Turin trip|
|England great Jimmy Greaves suffers stroke|
|Cabaye concerned by bit-part role at PSG|
|Parry: Anfield expansion a major boost|
|Ki targets Arsenal win and seventh spot|
|Pirlo eyes potential Champions League swansong|
|Mourinho rounds on critics after clinching title|
|Henderson: Liverpool can push on without Gerrard|
|Lack of goals a concern for Van Gaal|
|Hard to keep Benteke - Bacuna|
|MLS Review: Sporting KC end Chicago streak, Martins brace furthers NYC pain|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: River eye revenge in Superclasico|
|Garcia lauds ´impressive´ Roma|
|Pavon goal scores him a BMW for a month|
|Boca beat River in Superclasico|
|Inzaghi to blood youth after third straight Milan defeat|
|Blanc urges PSG to ´remain vigilant´|