|Upset victory: South Korean U19 players celebrate after scoring a goal in their 1-0 win over Hoang Anh Gia Lai's U21 in HCM City yesterday. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
HA NOI (VNS) — The old saying that a team with more experienced players, who play better in the entire match always wins, proved to be a fallacy.
Defending champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC's U-21, who dominated the match most of time and had more chances, still ended up losing 0-1 to South Korean U-19 squad in the opener of the Thanh Nien newspaper's International Football Tournament in HCM City.
The first four opportunities went to the local team which received massive support from local fans thanks to their beautiful and technical playing style.
Striker Nguyen Van Toan made use of an error from a Korean defender to steal the ball and brought it to the penalty area, but his shot was not hard enough to beat goalkeeper Song Bumkeun.
After that he had another shot at the goal, followed by those from Nguyen Phong Hong Duy and Nguyen Cong Phuong, but none of them were converted.
The Koreans caught the pace of the match and replied strongly.
They launched a rapid counter-attack in the 24th minute when forward Kim Jeonghwan escaped from the control of Hoang Anh Gia Lai defenders and beat goalkeeper Pham Van Tien.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai then restructured their line-up and opened more attacks.
Vu Van Thanh, Hoang Thanh Tung and Phuong continued testing goalkeeper Song but all of their attempts proved futile.
On several occasions, the South Koreans broke through Hoang Anh Gia Lai's defence, and they had nearly five more minutes in the goal after the interval and near the end of the match.
The win pushed South Korea to the top of Group B. The team with 16 players, just competed in the Asian U-19 competition, and will next meet Myanmar's U-21 squad on Sunday when Hoang Anh Gia Lai take a day's rest.
In an earlier match yesterday, Thailand's U-21 drew 2-2 with their Singaporean rivals at the Thong Nhat Stadium.
Sarun Puangbut and Teerapak Punboonchu scored for the Thai side while Muhammad Bin Said and Mohamad Taufik Bin Suparno netted for Singapore.
In the next fixture tomorrow, Thailand will play the hosts Viet Nam.
The annual tournament, which will end on November 29, will deliver more than VND1 billion (US$44,400) to the winners and personal prizes. — VNS