National U19 Football Championship 2020 kicks off

Wednesday, 2020-03-04 10:38:42
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Nguyen Van Manh opens the scoring for Ho Chi Minh City in their match against Khanh Hoa on March 3. (Photo: VFF)
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NDO – The 2020 National U19 Football Championship officially kicked off at stadiums nationwide on March 3 with a total of 11 clashes.

In Group A, reigning champions Hanoi FC, managed by Duong Hong Son, delivered a sweet start to their title defence campaign by edging past Vinacomin 1-0 thanks to a late strike by Tran Van Thang (71’).

Despite possessing a superior lineup, the PVF team of foreign manager Mauro Jeronimo conceded two unanswered goals against a more effective and solid Viettel side, managed by Nguyen Minh Tien.

Song Lam Nghe An proved themselves as the favourites for Group B’s top spot with a resounding 3-1 away victory against Thua Thien-Hue.

Defending runners-up Hoang Anh Gia Lai were unexpectedly held to a 1-1 draw by the People’s Public Security team in their Group C opener. Phan Du Hoc opened the scoring for HAGL in the 40th minute, only to see Hoang Tuan Hiep equalise 15 minutes later.

Reigning runners-up Hoang Anh Gia Lai 1 (in white) suffer a poor start with a 1-1 draw against the People's Public Security team. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Ho Chi Minh City’s two teams, HCM City and Saigon FC, got off to a flying start with respective 2-1 and 3-0 triumphs against Khanh Hoa and Can Tho.

The preliminary round, scheduled to take place from March 3 to 26, has brought together 26 teams in five groups. The tournament is being played on double round-robin basis to decide the five group winners and the two best second-placed teams for the final competition.

If the hosts of the final round conclude the qualification campaign as one of the seven aforementioned qualifiers, the third best second-placed team will secure their berth in the finals.

In last year’s championship, a solitary goal by Nguyen Nam Truong helped Hanoi FC edged past Hoang Anh Gia Lai 1-0 in the final match to clinch the overall trophy for the fifth time in history. The third prize was co-shared by Song Lam Nghe An and SHB Da Nang.

Following are the results of the 11 Matchday 1 clashes:

Group A

Hanoi FC vs Vinacomin 1-0

PVF vs Viettel 0-2

Pho Hien FC vs Nam Dinh FC 2-1

Group B

Thanh Hoa vs Quang Nam 1-0

Thua Thien Hue vs Song Lam Nghe An 1-3

Group C

Binh Dinh vs Phu Yen 2-6

Hoang Anh Gia Lai 1 vs People’s Public Security 1-1

Group D

Binh Phuoc vs Lam Dong 1-3

Ho Chi Minh City vs Khanh Hoa 2-1

Group E

Can Tho vs Saigon FC 0-3

An Giang vs Becamex Binh Duong 2-1