U-19 Vietnam qualify for 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup

Monday, 2016-10-24 11:52:19
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Coach Hoang Anh Tuan (centre) and his players have etched their names into Vietnam’s football history.
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NDO—A sparkling page was written in the history of Vietnamese football when the country’s U-19 team slipped past Bahrain 1-0 on the night of October 23, making its way through to the semifinals of the 2016 AFC U-19 Championship, as well as the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time ever.

>>> Vietnam through to AFC U-19 quarterfinals in historic first

In the match with Bahrain, constant attacks were deployed on each side right from the start; however, the brilliance of the two goalkeepers prevented anyone from scoring during the first two thirds of the quarterfinal match.

It was not until the 72nd minute that Tran Thanh claimed a decisive goal for Vietnam with a cunning close-range shot.

With time running out, Vietnam proactively played defensively to protect the narrow gap, which created a lot of difficulties for Bahrain to break through and turned their hopes for an equaliser into smoke.

The historic victory against Bahrain lifted Vietnam into the AFC semifinals against the winners of the October 24 clash between Japan and Tajikistan.

More importantly, as the AFC semifinalists, Vietnam have officially booked a first-ever place in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in the Republic of Korea.

Saudi Arabia followed Vietnam in advancing after edging out Iraq 6-5 in a penalty shootout on the same day. Next up for Saudi will be a semifinal match against the winners of the encounter between Uzbekistan and Iran.