|Surprise package: Viet Nam U23s beat Turkey's Galatasaray U23s in an international friendly match at Thong Nhat Stadium in HCM City yesterday. — VNS Photo Nguyen Viet
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam's U23 squad faced stiff competition this week, beating Galatasaray 2-1 at the Challenge Cup at Thong Nhat Stadium in HCM City.
Striker Le Van Thang and midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet each scored one goal in the second half with Turkey's substitute responding with a goal for the visiting team.
Galatasaray, who began the match as favourites, gave an impressive start but quickly faced an increasingly confident Vietnamese side, bolstered by strong defensive play.
Viet Nam failed to set up early opportunities but continued an aggressive attack on the Turkish defence. Possession favoured the Vietnamese side but several missed attempts from striker Mac Hong Quan prevented an early lead.
Quan fumbled two chances from the left wing, following strong efforts from teammates on the right flank.
Fans were left gripping their seats at the 43rd minute when Quan sent a ball flying above the goal, after a grueling set up from his teammates.
Teams went to the lockers at half time with an empty scoreboard after Minh Tuan lobbed a free kick into the Galatasaray keeper's gloves.
Viet Nam dominated possession in the second half, setting up opportunities to break the deadlock.
Following a series of missed shots, Thang broke the impasse at the 62nd minute after a blocked attempt from Ha Minh Tuan, deflected by the Turkish goalkeeper.
Turkey's substitutions - made to revive its chances - paid off as substitute Demir reponded strongly with an equaliser just two minutes from full time.
The Vietnamese side responded one minute later as Tuan set up teammate Quyet to use his body to drive the ball over the line. While Uysal managed to clear the ball away, the referee determined the ball had crossed the goal line.
Viet Nam will play their second match against Santos' U23 side on Sunday. — VNS