Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — U16 Việt Nam advanced yesterday to the knock-out stage as the sole representative of the South East Asia region in the Asian Football Confederation U16 Championship 2016 in India after a convinving 3-1 victory over Kyrgyzstan.
Việt Nam only needed a draw to secure their second place in Group B after their impressive comback in a previous match against Australia on Monday.
They soon received a wake up call after Gulzhigit Alykunov opened the scoreline for Kyrgyzstan after Vietnamese defenders allowed him too much comfort inside the box to beat goal keeper Hữu Tuấn.
Taking advantage of their early goal, Kyrgyzstan stepped up efforts to create opportunities, while Việt Nam had to press forward to find an equaliser.
Việt Nam had their lucky break in the 21st minute of the game when a long-range effort sent the ball boucing back after hitting the bar. Khắc Khiêm was in the right place and effortlessly put the ball in.
The clock was ticking against Kyrgyzstan’s fortunes and even one of their attempts at a goal was denied by the post after a free kick set up in the 57th minute.
Their fate was all but sealed after Việt Nam had their second goal in a messy situation in front of Kyrgyzstan’s post. The ball found its way into the net after goal keeper Elgard Sychev failed to secure the ball from a free kick from outside the box.
Việt Cường scored one more goal in the 88th minute to officially see Việt Nam into the tournament’s quarter-final round. With six points after three games, and as runner-up of Group B, the team are to play Iran, the leader of Group A, at 5.50pm (Việt Nam time) on Sunday.
Not only getting through to the knock-out stage of this year’s tournament, Việt Nam is also just one game away from making history with the country’s first ever appearance in a football world cup event. Winning against Iran in the quarter-final game will also secure Việt Nam a ticket to next year’s U17 World Cup as one of Asia’s four representatives.
Defeat on hometurf
Meanwhile, the Việt Nam U19 team suffered defeat by Australia on its hometurf during the ASEAN Football Federation Vietcombank U19 Youth Championship in Hà Nội.
The game began with Australia putting heavy pressure on Việt Nam’s two wings and making crosses into the box to take full advantage of their players’ physique. The tactical play paid off as they scored two goals by Mario Shabow and George Blackwood within the first 20 minutes of the game in attacks from the wings.
The home team conceded another goal after Shabow beat goalkeeper Tiến Dũng and Vietnamese defenders, scoring his double and ending the first half of the game with a three goal advantage for Australia.
The game was a lost cause for Việt Nam when Blackwood scored his second goal after a close-range header.
Despite Việt Nam’s effort to fight back with two goals by Minh Dĩ (58’) and Đức Chinh (68’), the game was already decided. Joseph Champness scored in the 85th minute of the game to widen the gap for Australia and put the final nail on the coffin for Việt Nam.
Việt Nam is to play Timor-Leste for third-place while Australia will play Thailand, a foe that managed to beat them 5-1 during the group stage, for the tittle. — VNS