|Forward Suh Myeongwon of South Korea (centre) was surrounded by
Vietnamese players during their opener of Group C at the AFC U19
Championships on October 9. Korea win 6-0. - VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HCM CITY (VNS) — Viet Nam got off to a bad start in the AFC Under-19 Football Championships.
The team went down 6-0 to the South Koreans in their opening Group C match yesterday at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Myanmar's capital of Naypyitaw.
Midfielder Shim Jehyeok broke the deadlock in the last minute of the first half with a close-range tap-in.
The four remaining goals were scored in the second half with a double from striker Kim Gunhee, one from Shim, one from substitute striker Hwang Hee Chan and another from substitute midfielder Paik Seungho.
The Vietnamese side was unable to find a consolation goal, despite creating few late goal-scoring chances.
There are high expectations ahead of the tournament. Viet Nam have never gone beyond the group stage but this year the team has some promising players from the country's first football academy, financed by Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group.
That optimism was evident in the first half when the Vietnamese side seemed to take the game to their highly-rated opponents. Viet Nam were able to put the opponent under threat at times and kept the match goalless until the last minute of the first half without giving away much space and opportunity.
The Vietnamese team could have taken the lead if defender Bui Tien Dung's header had gone in instead hitting the crossbar three minutes from half-time.
From 40 minutes on, the match belonged to the South Koreans, who began to step up their game with the introduction of Shim to the front line.
Shim broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time as he capitalised on sloppy defending to poke home.
The South Koreans started the second half with attacking intent, and they took just ten minutes to double their advantage through forward Kim Gunhee.
Defender Park Jaewoo raced clear on the right wing to cross for the unmarked Kim who drove in a powerful shot that Vietnamese goalkeeper Le Van Truong should have done better with.
South Korea continued their dominance and five minutes later their lead was extended to three. Once again it came from the right flank with forward Suh Myeongwon crossing for Shim to plant a header beyond Truong for his second goal.
Substitute Hwang made it 4-0 for the defending champions from the penalty spot after Truong tripped Kim, and Paik added a fifth with a shot from distance.
Viet Nam staged a late fightback in search of a consolation, and they nearly found one when Toan's close-range shot was brilliant saved by keeper Lee Taehui.
Kim wrapped up a comprehensive victory for the South Koreans as he skipped past two Vietnamese defenders and Truong to slot home his second goal. — VNS