Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Ten-man Việt Nam kicked off their campaign to qualify for the AFC U16 Championship with a comprehensive 5-2 victory over Cambodia yesterday at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The Vietnamese quickly took the lead in the ninth minute with Quốc Hoàng opening the scoring.
However, the Cambodian players let coach Vũ Hồng Việt and his side savour their success for only four minutes.
Captain Ky Rina equalised the score with a finish that hit the post before finding the back of Vietnamese goalkeeper Nguyễn Duy Dũng’s net.
From the 20th-minute mark, Việt Nam played with 10 men when captain Vũ Tiến Long was sent off for his violent attempt trying to stop Cambodian striker Bunthoeun Bunnarong in the box.
Cambodia were given a penalty, but Ean Pisey missed from the spot with goalie Dũng successfully defending his net.
Playing without their captain, Việt Nam, however, had no difficulty to dominate the second half.
Some 10 minutes after the interval, Võ Nguyên Hoàng pushed Việt Nam in the lead again, dribbling pass two defenders and scoring from the inside box.
Substitute Hà Trung Hậu, midfielder Nguyễn Thế Hùng and Đoàn Chí Bảo added three more goals for Việt Nam in extra time.
Cambodian forward Ly Mael, meanwhile, netted his team’s second goal in the 74th minute.
“We are very happy. Even though we won, it was a very hard game because we played with 10 men,” coach Việt of Việt Nam said.
On the other side, coach Lee Tae-Hoon of Cambodia said his team had good opportunities in the first half and the players failed to score in the second half although they had the advantage of an extra man.
"We need to improve, our individual quality is not good enough. But I’m not disappointed, because most of our players started to play in international competition this year. It’s only our second tour and we are looking to the future. Our players are growing every day. I believe they will display a stronger performance in the next match," Lee was quoted as saying on the-afc.com.
The win placed Việt Nam second in Group I. In the later match, Australia beat the hosts 10-1 to stay on top.
Việt Nam will play their second game tomorrow against Mongolia.
“We don’t have enough information about the Mongolian team, but we will try our best against the home team," Việt, whose team are considered the strongest in the group, said.
Before the Ulaanbaatar event, Việt Nam beat both Cambodia and Australia at the Southeast Asian U15 Championship in July on way to winning the title.
Speaking about Việt Nam, coach Nanjid Dash-Yampil of the hosts said Việt Nam are the favourites of the group to grab a slot in the final round next year.
While Việt Nam’s best result here was the quarter-finals at the 2016 event, Mongolian football was then still nascent. Their current advantages are home ground and local supporters. — VNS