HCM CITY (VNS)— V-League club Becamex Binh Duong overcame the Vietnamese U22 team 2-0 in the final of the Number One BTV Cup yesterday at the Binh Duong Stadium.
South African striker Philani opened the scoring for the hosts with a stunning header 17 minutes into the first half. Samson Kpennosen later added a second, with his strike from close range putting the game beyond doubt.
Philani was voted the best player of the tournament, while the golden boot went to U22 player Le Van Thang who scored six goals in the tournament, including one hat trick in the semi-final.
The final was a rematch after the two teams met in the group stage, where Binh Duong comfortably won 4-1. Yesterday's encounter was a much closer affair, with the U22 players looking dangerous in the first half and refusing to be intimidated by star names from the opposition, including Philani and Huynh Kesley Alves. They looked confident on the back of impressive victories over Thai Premier League club Chonburi and Sai Gon Xuan Thanh, who they beat 6-1 in the semi-final.
In the final they followed the same counter-attacking strategy that served them so well before, but struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Binh Duong took advantage by opening the scoring with captain Philani's impressive looped header over the goalkeeper.
This seemed to spur on the U22s, and Hoang Van Phuc's players continued to search for an equaliser.
They came agonisingly close eight minutes later when a long-range free kick forced the Binh Duong keeper intot making a superb save to his left, tipping the ball over the bar.
In the second half they had more chances to find a way back into the tie, but they were let down by a lack of sharpness from their forwards.
Finally, the pressure from their more experienced opponents took its toll, and Samson Kpennosen poked the ball home from a rebound. Despite this, the U22's continued to battle but to no avail. They will hope to have more success when the tournament returns next year. — VNS