Cong Phuong’s double helps Vietnam U23 finish third at M-150 Cup

Saturday, 2017-12-16 10:41:05
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Cong Phuong (No. 10) nets in two goals within only 15 minutes in the first half of the match against Thailand U23 on December 15.
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NDO – It was great day for goalie Bui Tien Dung and the shining of crowd-favourite striker Cong Phuong as Vietnam U23 football team defeated hosts Thailand U23 in the third-place match at M-150 Cup in the December 15 evening.

>>> M-150 Cup: Vietnam miss final match after defeat to Uzbekistan

The two teams suffered unexpected losses in their last group round match on December 13 although they both had a good chance to play in the final. Vietnam lost 0-3 to Thailand in the 29th Southeast Asian Games’ group round last August.

The match at the I-Mobile Stadium began with pressure from the hosts. On the second minute, Vietnam’s defender Duy Manh must be very hard to clear the close range shot from Sarachat after Sampheat's pass.

However, the attacking strategy of the home team gradually exposed loopholes and the red-shirt players exploited the gaps very well to open the scoring in the 7th minute. Quang Hai received the ball in the right wing and then passed it to Cong Phuong before the No. 10 striker’s header took Vietnam the lead.

Coach Park Hang-seo’s players gained more confidence amidst strengthened attacks from Thailand. When the Thai team was still struggling to find the way to the goal of Tien Dung, they suddenly conceded the second goal in the 22nd minute. Xuan Truong fired a long pass to Cong Phuong and then the latter made a decisive volley into the near corner to knock down goalie Nont Muangngam. A 2-0 lead in favour of Vietnam U23 was set in less than half an hour.

Thailand U23 was given plenty of opportunities, but their strikers seemed to have problems in the final decisive phase. In the 34th minute, defender Duy Manh made a mistake to let the ball fall into Sarachat’s foot but the Thai player’s strong shot then was excellently saved by Tien Dung.

Only five minutes later, the young goalkeeper of Thanh Hoa FLC Club again made the audience to mention his name while continuing to precisely save another finish on the penalty spot by Sombatyotha. It was also the last notable dangerous situation in the first 45 minutes.

After the break, Thailand U23 quickly found the net in the 47th minute thanks to Sarachat after taking advantage from defender Van Hau’s fault. The remaining minutes witnessed great pressure from the home team against the goal of Vietnam U23. However, Autra, Sarachat and then Sombatyotha were highly inaccurate and could not beat goalkeeper Tien Dung.

This "tit for tat" gameplay from both sides in the last minutes of the game did not bring any more goals. 90 minutes of the third-place match closed with a 2-1 win to Vietnam U23.

The victory not only helps Park Hang Seo’s team win the bronze medal at M-150 Cup but also is a “sweet” response of Vietnam U23 after the bitter defeat to the Thai players in the 29th Southeast Asian Games, before competing at the Asian U23 Football Championship in China next year.

Uzbekistan U23 was tied 2-2 with Japan U23 in the final match at M-150 Cup, but the Central Asian team beat their rivals 4-3 on the penalty shootout to claim the championship title.