Vietnam beat Thailand to win int’l U19 tournament

Saturday, 2019-03-30 21:00:07
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Vietnam U19s celebrate with joy after defeating their Thai opponents to win the overall title. (Photo: Vietnamnet)
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NDO – Guillaume Graechen’s Vietnamese side claimed the overall trophy at the 2019 International U19 Football Tournament in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, after narrowly beating Thailand 1-0 in the title match on March 30.

>>> Vietnam secure berth in 2020 AFC U23 finals after 4-0 win over Thailand

Forward Xuan Tao made use of a serious mistake from Thai goalkeeper Soponwit to score the solitary goal of the final to seal a convincing victory for the host team.

This is the second consecutive triumph for Vietnamese football against the Thais in a final clash within the past five days. Earlier, Vietnamese U23s thrashed their Thai opponents with four unanswered goals to qualify for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship finals as the Group K winners.

Forward Xuan Tao scores the solitary goal of the match to fire Vietnam U19s to the championship trophy. (Photo: vnexpress.net)

Both Vietnam and Thailand seized a three-game unbeaten run into the final on Saturday, with two wins against China and Myanmar and a goalless draw in a direct encounter between them.

Graechen’s players had the better of the match in the first half, creating a number of chances to score, notably a powerful long-range strike that went over the crossbar.

Thailand missed a clear-cut opportunity to break the deadlock a few minutes after halftime, as Guntapon took a favourable pass inside the box, but drove a shot over the crossbar to the regrets of the Thai coaching staff.

The guests were forced to pay dearly for their wastefulness 10 minutes later, as Xuan Tao punished a deadly mistake by keeper Soponwit to put the Vietnamese side in front. The Thai goalie carelessly handle a through ball from midfield to Xuan Tao, allowing the No. 11 forward to dash into the box and easily slot in from close range.

Xuan Tao celebrates scoring the opener for Vietnam U19s. (Photo: laodong.vn)

With time running out, Thai players intensified their attacks seeking to earn an equaliser. They came close to restoring parity in the 74th minute, as a freekick from about 30 metres unluckily hit the crossbar of keeper Van Chuan.

Xuan Tao managed to find the back of the net for the second time one minute later; however, his second goal was ruled offside.

The 1-0 score remained unchanged until the final whistle, which also meant a well-deserved vcitory for coach Graechen’s side. This is the third time in a row that the Vietnamese team have been crowned champions at the int’l U19 tournament.

In addition to the overall trophy, Vietnam U19s won the fair-play award and three individual prizes, including the “best goalkeeper” for Van Chuan, and the “top scorer” and “best player” for forward Xuan Tao.

VAN TOAN