Vietnam U18s finish second at friendly tournament in Hong Kong (China)

Tuesday, 2019-04-23 09:41:04
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The starting squad for Vietnam U18s in their final match against hosts Hong Kong U18s on April 22. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation).
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NDO – The Vietnam U18 team finished second at the International Youth Invitational Football Tournament 2019 in Hong Kong (China), after tying 1-1 with hosts Hong Kong U18s in their last match at the tourney on April 22.

>>> Vietnam U18 team set out for international tournament in Hong Kong (China)

Vietnam wrapped up the friendly tournament with five points in total, having claimed a win over Singapore U18s in their opening match, on April 19, before drawing 0-0 with eventual champions Myanmar U18s two days later. Myanmar topped the event with seven points after three matches.

The result was not too surprising as Vietnam’s coach Hoang Anh Tuan continued to field a much-changed squad in their final match, as the coaching staff did not place much emphasis on achievement but rather on maximising the conditions for all players to be able to play and accumulate more experience.

Vietnam created huge pressure against the hosts, thanks to their squad’s superior strength and technique, but, during the first half, the Southeast Asian team could not transform opportunities into goals.

Tying 0-0 after the first 45 minutes, Tuan made some changes at the beginning of the second half, fielding in Xuan Binh and Van Tung for Nhi Khang and Thanh Khoi. These tactical changes immediately proved effective as the white-shirt team got the opener only 10 minutes later with a goal by Vo Nguyen Hoang.

Vietnam strengthened attacks in seeking more goals, needed to win the title, but Hong Kong U18s remained faithful to the defensive play and were quite dangerous in counter-attacks.

They got rewarded with a leveller in the 78th minute when Vietnam failed to deal with Hong Kong’s well-coordinated counter-attack.

The guests managed to seek more goals in the remaining minutes, but their strikers had a disappointing day as they failed to score despite creating multiple opportunities.

Drawing 1-1, Vietnam finished in second place, as in the remaining match Myanmar U18s had a 2-1 victory against Singapore U18s to claim the title, two points ahead Vietnam. Hong Kong ranked third with four points, ahead of Singapore U18s in fourth place after three losses.

In general, Vietnam end the tournament quite successfully, despite missing the championship title. The important thing is that Tuan’s players had opportunities to compete in an international tournament, and the coaching team also have more detailed assessments of each player to improve the squad in the future.

As planned, the 20-member team will return home on April 23 for further practice to prepare for their two upcoming important tournaments this year, the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U-19 Youth Championship 2019, hosted by Vietnam in August, as well as the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U19 Championship Qualifiers in late September.