Viettel beats dark horse Hà Tĩnh to win national U17 championship

March 22, 2023 - 20:25
Viettel ended Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh's trophy dream after beating them 4-2 to take the National U17 Football Championship title on March 21 in Hưng Yên Province.


Viettel players celebrate their National U17 Football Championship win on March 21 in Hưng Yên Province. Photos of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Viettel ended Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh's trophy dream by beating them 4-2 to take the National U17 Football Championship title on March 21 in Hưng Yên Province.

Entering the final, Viettel was one of title favourites and the best centre of youth football training. Meanwhile, Hà Tĩnh was the most impressive team of the tournament. They were a substitute team but beat powerful rivals including reigning champion and host PVF to advance to the gold-medal match.

However, Viettel needed only eight minutes to take the lead against Hà Tĩnh.

In an attempt to protect their goal, a Hà Tĩnh player touched the ball with his hand in the penalty box, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.

Striker Nguyễn Công Phương made no mistake to open the scoring with a strong straight finish to beat goalie Trọng Dương.

Eight minutes to the interval, it was 2-0 for Viettel from a set piece.

Phương sent a perfect ball to the box and Thanh Bình jumped high to head it in.

The second half saw more outstanding performance from Viettel as Hoàng Khanh and Hồng Kiên scored easy goals at the 58th and 61st minutes, respectively.


Striker Nguyễn Công Phương of Viettel (left) tries to pass a defender of Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh in the final match. Viettel win 4-2.

Hà Tĩnh focused on aggressive attacks, but when those attacks stalled, they could not resist Viettel's counter-attacks. Khanh and Kiên were not watched by any Hà Tĩnh defenders in the box and their close range taps found the back of the net to make it 4-0.

Hà Tĩnh's strong effort bore fruit at the 64th with a straight low finish of Hoàng Phú. Three minutes to the end, Đức Quang converted a penalty into a goal for Hà Tĩnh and 4-2 was the final score.

"Words are not enough to describe my feeling at present, I am happy, my players make me really happy," coach Nguyễn Văn Biển told reporters. "I believed that we would win the match but could not think that we would score four goals in the final."

"We watch videos of Hà Tĩnh's matches and analysed their strong and weak points. We mapped out plans to reduce their power while bringing into play our strong points. And we did it," he said.

Winning the title, Viettel bagged VNĐ100 million (US$4,200) while Hà Tĩnh took VNĐ80 million.

Viettel scored two goals in each half of the final match to earn an award of VNĐ100 million for the champions.

Viettel's Phương, captain of the national U16 squad, was voted most valuable player of the tournament. He also shared the top scorer award with Nguyễn Trọng Tuấn of Sông Lam Nghệ An, with four goals each.

Lương Anh Chiến of Viettel was named best goalkeeper. VNS