Losses dash U19 final hopes
HCM CITY — Viet Nam's hopes of qualifying for the final at the Asean Football Federation Under-19 football championships were destroyed after the team went down 3-0 to Australia in the second match yesterday at Thong Nhat Stadium, HCM City.
Captain Ryan Edwards opened the score for Australia in the first half and Jake Keith Barker-Daish and Jesse David Makarounas added one each in the second half.
The win kept Australia's hopes for the title alive. They stand a chance to qualify for the final if they beat Iran, who are leading the tournament with six points from two wins, tomorrow.
"Our players only played well in the first ten minutes of the match and they lost confidence after the first goal," Vietnamese head coach Mai Duc Chung said.
Meanwhile, the Australian team's coach Paul Okon-Engstler said: "The Vietnamese team started the match very well but we scored the first goal and that changed the match."
Viet Nam started with skillful Nguyen Thai Sung in the line-up. The team had an encouraging start at the beginning of the match, giving it the chance to open the score against Australia, who were rated higher ahead at the kick-off.
While Vietnamese players failed to score because of the inefficiency in front of the goal, the Australians were very sharp on the other end.
After some surprises caused by the host team, the tide started turning in the Australians' favour. They had more possessions but had not created any clear cut chances until around the half-hour mark.
In the first clear-cut chance, the Australians had the opener after Edwards played one-two with Luke Anthony O'Dea to beat Vietnamese defence and angled a low shot into the far corner of the net. The goal lifted the Australians and they controlled the rest of the first half but no more goal were scored until the interval.
The second half went even worse for the Vietnamese when they not only failed to produce any goal scoring opportunities but also conceded three more goals, mostly because of a crappy defence.
With the win ensured, Australia slowed down the match in the fifteen remaining minutes of the second half and gave up more possessions to the Vietnamese, but there was no consolation goal for Viet Nam despite a great deal of effort. — VNS