Vietnam advance to semis at AFF U15 Championship

Monday, 2019-08-05 09:16:09
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Vietnam U15s (in red) enter the semi-finals as Group A runners-up. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – Striker Cai Van Quy’s late winner helped Vietnam beat Timor-Leste 1-0 in their last Group A match at the ongoing ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U15 Championship in Thailand on August 4, thereby sending his team into the semi-finals.

Before their final group match, Timor-Leste ranked first in Group A with 10 points, holding a one point advantage against third-placed Vietnam and only needing a draw to reach the last four. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s boys had only one choice – beating the group leaders to progress.

The situation created a huge challenge for coach Dinh The Nam’s side, forcing them to rush to attack right from the opening whistle. However, Vietnam were not effective against the calm of Timor-Leste.

Vietnam’s brightest opportunity in the first half fell to Vo Anh Quan in the 26th minute after a smooth coordination, but his finish was no challenge for Timor-Leste’s goalkeeper.

In the second half, coach Nam brought new faces onto the field, helping the Golden Star continue to dominate the ball possession, but the goal was still out of reach.

However, after a series of attacks, Vietnam found the net in the 76th minute as Cai Van Quy looped the ball over the Timor-Leste goalkeeper’s head, opening the scoring for Vietnam.

Timor-Leste rallied for the equaliser but the remaining minutes were not enough for them to reverse the situation.

The current standings in both groups at the AFF U15 Championship. (Photo: ASEAN Football Federation)

The narrow 1-0 win sent Vietnam into the semis as Group A runners-up with 12 points after five matches. Defending champions Indonesia recorded a comfortable 5-0 win over Myanmar to claim their berth into the last four with first place in the group, winning 13 points after five matches. Timor-Leste, who began the final matchday as the leaders in the group, crashed out of the campaign at third place with 10 points.

After the match, Vietnam were granted a bonus worth VND200 million from the Vietnam Football Federation for their semi-final ticket.

Vietnam’s next opponents will be determined after the last matches of Group B later today (Monday), where Thailand, Malaysia and Australia are in a three-way battle to book the two remaining semi-final spots from the group.