Update: 17:43 | 28/03/2019
Vietnam have set up a title match with Thailand at the ongoing 2019 International U19 Football Tournament in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, following their narrow 1-0 win over China on March 27.
After beating Myanmar 2-1 and drawing 0-0 with Thailand in their previous two games, Vietnam needed at least one point against China to secure their place in the final clash.
Vietnam U19s have qualified for the final match after two wins and one draw.
Guillaume Graechen’s side headed into the match with determination and confidence strongly inspired by the fantastic display delivered by their Vietnam U23 seniors at the recently concluded 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualifiers.
Vietnam successfully set the pace of the game in the first half and forced China to play on the defence. Manh Quynh and Nhi Khang produced two consecutive threats on the Chinese goal 15 minutes from halftime, but their attempts were not accurate enough to be converted into an opener for the host team.
After the break, Vietnam maintained their control, and eventually went ahead in the 64th minute thanks to an eye-catching long-range curler by Manh Quynh.
The unexpected goal seemed to awaken the Chinese side, driving them to put up the pressure to seek an equaliser.
China came close to restoring parity in the 75th minute with Yi Xianlong’s cunning shot unluckily striking the crossbar.
The 1-0 score remained unchanged until the final whistle, gifting Vietnam a place in the March 30 final match with Thailand who edged out Myanmar with the same score earlier.
The annual competition has brought together four U19 teams, China, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, in a round-robin tournament, in which the top two teams will qualify for the title match, while the remaining two co-share the third prize. The overall champion will receive the trophy and US$10,000 in prize money.