|Proud moment: Hoang Anh Gia Lai players celebrate with their champion trophy of the International U21 Football Tournament. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Coach Nguyen Quoc Tuan of Hoang Anh Gia Lai said he knew how to tear through the South Korean net in the final match of the International U21 Football Tournament.
He was correct, after his beloved player, Nguyen Cong Phuong, scored a double to help his team successfully defend their title yesterday at HCM City's Thong Nhat Stadium.
The first goal proved to be Phuong's superb individual effort, leading the ball from midfield, passing several South Korean players before making a stunning shot from 30m to open the score.
This goal was voted the best of the tournament.
The second goal was an excellent combination between Phuong and striker Nguyen Van Toan.
Phuong left three Koreans behind, delivering the ball to Toan, who broke into the penalty area and sent it back to Phuong near the 5.5m line. The national U23 team member did not miss this clear shot, as the clock went to the final minutes.
Phuong, who will travel to Japan in mid-December to prepare for his J.League 2 competition, has the best score, with five goals during the annual event.
South Korea tried to turn around the game with three changes of players in the second half, but all of coach An Ik Soo's attempts proved unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Captain Lee Dong-jun twice tested goalkeeper Pham Van Tien's skill, but both of his kicks and header were not goals.
With the win, Hoang Anh Gia Lai also paid their debt after losing 0-1 to South Korea during their group round match last week.
In the third-placed play-off match, Viet Nam lost 5-6 to Singapore after a penalty shootout.
Captain Than Thanh Tin and Dau Van Toan missed their shots, while only Muhammad Farhan of Singapore failed to score.
The two sides drew 1-1 in the official time. Goals went to Vietnamese Nhu Tuan at the 65th minute and Singapore's Joshua Bernard Pereira in the additional time.
It was the second time Viet Nam lost after the penalties.
They were defeated 2-3 by Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the semi-finals. — VNS