|Winning moves: Vietnamese striker Cong Phuong (left) vies for the ball at yesterday's semi-final match. Viet Nam's 4-1 victory will see them face off against Japan in the finals tomorrow. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam crushed Myanmar 4-1 in a gripping semi-final win at the ASEAN Football Federation's (AFF) Nuti-Food U-19 Cup yesterday.
The win booked Viet Nam a spot in the final against Japan, who edged out Thailand 2-1 in other semi-final earlier yesterday.
Playing with the support of 40,000 fans at the National My Dinh Stadium, the hosts mounted an aggressive start to the semi-final from the starting whistle.
Three minutes into the game, Quang Hai failed to surprise Myanmar goalie Myo Min Latt with a close range attack.
Vietnamese duo Nguyen Cong Phuong and Nguyen Van Toan showed good teamwork in the 13th minute within the 18-yard box, with Toan's shot skimming the post.
The visitors responded in the 18th minute when Than Paing fired a shot from 25 metres out, but was blocked by Vietnamese goalie Van Truong.
Vietnamese striker Nguyen Van Long failed to consolidate a chance in the 22nd minute when he fired a powerful shot from the 18-yard-box. The Myanmar keeper managed to skim the shot with his finger, sending it over the bar.
Vietnamese football players celebrate a victory. — Photo VNA/VNS Quoc Khanh
Midfielder Nguyen Tuan Anh later sparked cheers from the 40,000-seat stadium when he curved an inside shot into the high corner of the net in the 31st minute.
Myanmar midfielder Maung Maung Soe had a clear chance three minutes later, with a close range shot going wide.
Viet Nam's Luong Xuan Truong responded by doubling the score in the 36th minute with a perfect free kick into the low corner of the net.
Striker Nguyen Van Toan kept the crowd on their seats as he steered a shot wide a mere two minutes before the break.
However, Toan stormed into the second half with a goal only five minutes after the opening whistle.
The decisive 3-0 lead saw a slight drop in the Vietnamese defence, with top striker Aung Thu seizing a chance to score at the 53rd minute.
The visiting side struggled to consolidate chances to even the score, with Phan Van Long sealing Viet Nam's win with a skilful shot to the back corner of the net. — VNS