Việt Nam to face Malaysia in U19 final without star player

August 11, 2022 - 08:20
The midfielder suffered an ankle injury during Việt Nam's 1-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday at the Gò Đậu Stadium.


Nguyễn Đình Bắc scores the only goal in Việt Nam's 1-0 win over Thailand in the Thanh Niên Newspaper U19 International Football Tournament on August 9. Photo of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will be without Nguyễn Văn Trường when they face Malaysia in the final of the annual Thanh Niên newspaper's U19 International Football Tournament tomorrow in Bình Dương Province.

The midfielder suffered an ankle injury during Việt Nam's 1-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday at the Gò Đậu Stadium.

The national U23 player went down early in the second half and looks set to miss the final.

"He won't make it to the final. We have several substitutes who can play as attacking midfielders like Trường, but his absence will partly reduce our power," Coach Đinh Thế Nam said.

"But I believe that my team will win."

Việt Nam advanced to the final thanks to an early winner by Nguyễn Đình Bắc in the 14th minute.

The win pushed the hosts to the top of the four-sided competition with three wins.

"I made four changes in this key match against arch-rivals Thailand. We played well in the first half and scored a goal. The second half belonged to the Thais but we kept them out," said Nam.

"My players showed strong minds and good spirit the whole match. They also created threatening chances. These were good signs. But some players were not strong enough for the whole match. It was a problem.

Midfielder Nguyễn Văn Trường (left) suffered an ankle injury and will miss the final match on Thursday. Photo of VFF

"Anyway, I am happy with every victory and look forward to more."

Nam and his players were awarded VNĐ300 million (US$12,800) for the win.

On the Thai side, coach Salvador Garcia was not disappointed even though this was the fourth time his team lost to Việt Nam in all competitions.

"We were met with tons of problems in the first half. I made some changes which led to a better second half. My players created opportunities but they could not score," Garcia said.

The Spaniard said he considers Việt Nam a good opponent. They are not the enemy so the Thai players were not asked to beat them at all costs. However, they were encouraged to try their best to win.

The tactician said the loss provided good lessons and he found weaknesses that must be fixed ahead of the 2023 AFC U19 Championship's qualification.

In the other match, Malaysia beat Myanmar 2-0 to place second, setting a date with Việt Nam in the final which will be live from 6pm on VTV6, FPT TV, FPT Play and other internet platforms.

In their first meeting in group-round on Sunday, Việt Nam came from behind to beat Malaysia 2-1.

Meanwhile, Thailand will clash with Myanmar for the third-place position. Thailand won 1-0 in the group round meet.

Speaking about the final, Garcia said it would be an attractive match between two teams who are equal in both technique and fitness. The tactics of the coaches may decide the game. VNS