Vietnam’s U19 squad won the 2010 International Under-21 Football Tournament Championship after beating Thailand’s U21s 2-1 in the final match at Ho Chi Minh City’s Thong Nhat Stadium on Sunday.
Though considered the underdogs, the Vietnamese U19s were on equal terms with the Thailand throughout the dramatic final game of the fourth edition of the youth football event sponsored by Thanh Nien newspaper.
The Vietnamese U19s took the lead after five minutes following a mix-up in the Thai penalty area. Hai Huy fired a powerful shot that sailed 16 meters into the goal.
The Thai U21s launched relentless attacks but the Vietnamese players stood firm through the remaining minutes of the first half.
After the break, the Thai players continued attacking and scored an equalizer midway through the second half when the Vietnamese defenders showed clear signs of fatigue.
Vietnam’s goalkeeper Buu Ngoc stopped Hongthong’s shot but failed to catch it, allowing Meesawad to send the rebounding ball to the back of Vietnam’s net.
The Vietnamese defenders continued to make mistakes but either goalkeeper Buu Ngoc mounted a good defense and the Thai strikers proved poor shots.
The young Vietnamese squad didn’t have many chances but they managed to score to make the game 2-1 ten minutes from full time.
With huge contributions, Buu Ngoc won the “best player of the match” award while Nguyen Van Quyet won the tournament’s “best player” and the “Vietnamese most impressive player” awards.
The Vietnamese U19 players won the trophy with a cash prize of US$10,000 and the Thai players took the second place and $7,000.
The Vietnamese U21 team earned the third place after beating the Malaysian U21s and got a cash prize of $5,000. Thailand’s Sokjoho had three goals and was named “best scorer” while Thailand’s goalkeeper Yen Arom was awarded the “tournament’s best goalkeeper” title.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the final match, Nguyen Cong Khe, Chairman of Thanh Nien Media Corporation and chief of the organizing committee said, “Our philosophy at the National and International U21 Tournament, is to honor “Virtue, Intelligence and Talent”. The winning football must be the beautiful, the kind of football that is honest and impressive to the fans. That is our hope for the youth football tournament.
“The organizing committee, Thanh Nien newspaper and Thanh Nien Media Corporation have been trying and will continue to try our best to make this youth football tournament more and more perfect and professional.”