|Evenly matched: Việt Nam and Australia’s players vie for the ball in the final match of the AFF Smart Under-16 Championship 2016 in Cambodia. — Photo aseanfootball.org|
HÀ NỘI – Australia defeated Việt Nam in the final match of the AFF Smart Under-16 Championship 2016 in Cambodia on Saturday.
The team beat Việt Nam 5-3 in the penalty shootout after finishing 3-3 after full time.
With the score at 3-2 to Việt Nam’s advantage with just seven minutes to go, a mistake right at the end allowed Australia to score, forcing the game into the lottery of penalties.
“The support from the stand was immense,” said Australian head coach Antony Vidma on the website aseanfootball.org. “That motivated us to push forward and never give up.”
“It was so close, very close to winning,” said Việt Nam head coach Đinh Thế Nam. “It was a very good game against a very strong team – just unfortunate with the penalties.”
“Losing to the rival who were beaten 3-0 by Việt Nam in the qualifying round is very regrettable, especially in the final match when the victory is coming near. With this loss, I hope Việt Nam will grow up in the coming time. U16 team is Việt Nam’s football’s future to gain gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 2021 to be held in Việt Nam,” said Trần Quốc Tuấn, vice chairman of the Việt Nam Football Federation.
Meanwhile, Nguyễn Trọng Long, Việt Nam’s captain said the team will try their best in the coming AFC U16 Football Championships and will win the AFF U19 Football Championships three years later.
“Via this tournament, the whole team drew morals, especially when the refreree didn’t blow the whistle to finish the game, the victory didn’t line in our hands and footballers needed to focus more,” Long added.
Việt Nam will take part in the AFC U16 Football Championships in September in India. The team are in Group B alongside Japan, Australia and Kyrgyzstan. If the team are in the event’s top four teams, they will earn a slot to compete in U17 World Cup. — VNS