|Opening win: U21 Viet Nam celebrate beating Thailand at the Thanh Nien U21 International Football Tournament in HCM City yesterday. — Photo thethaovietnam.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — U21 Viet Nam defeated U21 Thailand 4-2 in their first Group A match at the Thanh Nien Newspaper's U21 International Football Tournament in HCM City yesterday.
Viet Nam opened the scoring in the sixth and 13th minutes of the match thanks to Pham Van Thanh and Ho Tuan Tai.
However, before the first half closed, Thailand levelled the score at 2-2.
After the break, Lam Ti Phong and Pham Xuan Manh opened the gap for Viet Nam to 4-2 in the 49th and 56th minute.
With this win, U21 Viet Nam temporarily took the lead in Group A with three points, followed by U21 Singapore and U21 Thailand.
In other Group B match yesterday, U19 South Korea crushed U21 Myanmar 2-0 to top the group and secured a ticket to compete in the semi-finals.
Coach Eric Williams of Myanmar called together the players from the U19 team that defeated U19 Viet Nam in the final of Hassanal Bolkiah last year, as well as other players who competed in the 2015 World Cup U20.
Myanmar's experience was better than the youngsters from South Korea, so they created many opportunities to score in the first half.
In the 40th minute, Than Paing coolly launched his header towards South Korea's goalkeeper at a distance of 5m, but the South Korean goalie saved the goal.
However, South Korean players did not miss chances in the final minutes of the first half, as Kang Ji-hun overcame Myanmar's goalie to open their score in the 45th minute.
Myanmar played attack continuously to level the score in the second half, but they had to surrender to the South Korean's defence line.
South Korea proved very dangerous in counter-attack situations. Kim Jeong-hwan doubled the score to 2-0 for his team in the 70th minute.
In the remaining time, South Korea played in defence to hold onto their lead.
"We played well in the first half and played attack-defence against our highly-appreciated rival. After our loss, the match changed, South Korea defended rather well so our players couldn't level the score," said coach Williams.
Also losing to South Korea, Myanmar and Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) will meet in the final group match tomorrow to earn a ticket to the semi-finals. The winner will company with South Korea in the event's next stage.
"HAGL has many advantages, but we will play wholeheartedly and are determined to win the match," Williams added. — VNS