Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Takehiro Hattori scored the only goal in his team Yokohama FC’s 1-0 win over Việt Nam in the second round of the International U-21 Football Tournament yesterday in HCM City.
The Japanese needed 10 minutes to break Việt Nam’s defence with a solo performance in his second attempt.
The victory strengthened Yokohama’s top position in Group A with two wins and they will meet reigning champions Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, the second-placed team of Group B, in the knock-out stage.
Despite the loss coach Phạm Minh Đức and his team secured the second berth to play Group A leader Thailand in the semi-finals as they rank second above Myanmar due to their better goal difference.
Coach Đức said his rivals were too strong as compared to Việt Nam. Through the game he knew exactly where Việt Nam was on the map of the football world and he learnt a lot from Japan.
Đức also was not satisfied with the performance of his players in the match, and said that the Vietnamese were afraid of their Japanese rivals and did not dare to open an attack.
He said he gave chances to different players such as Bùi Tiến Dụng, Hà Đức Chinh, Hồ Tấn Tài and Dương Văn Hào who will compete at the coming U-20 World Cup, but they did not convince him. In the semi-finals, he would make some changes to improve Việt Nam’s strength.
Coach Tomonobu Hayakawa of Yokohama said it was a good result for his team which did not sweat much, thanks to the wrong tactics from the Vietnamese side. But his players should try harder for an improved score against Hoàng Anh Gia Lai in the semis.
In a later match of the day, Nguyễn Văn Toàn’s double played a key role in pushing his team Hoàng Anh Gia Lai into the semi-final.
The defending champions defeated Gangwon 3-1 to stand second in Group B with four points.
Toàn capitalised on a mistake by Gangwon’s goalkeeper to steal the ball and made a straight finish for the opener in the 14th minute.
Four minutes later, Toàn received a ball from Vũ Văn Thanh, leaving two Gangwon defenders to take a shot into the far corner.
The second half was also under Hoàng Anh Gia Lai’s control but Gangwon suddenly narrowed the result in the 75th minute by Lee Hemin.
Lee’s shot to the far high corner was too hard for goalie Lê Văn Trường to save.
National and much loved striker Nguyễn Công Phượng, who lost himself in the previous game, finally found his scoring skills near the end of the match. He broke through Gangwon players to have a close-range tap in.
He confirmed what coach Guillaume Graechen said about him prior to the match “Phượng has never played two bad games in a row.” — VNS