Hoang Anh Gia Lai successfully defended their title at the Thanh Nien Newspaper U21 International Football Championships for the Clear Men Cup by beating South Korea 2-0 Sunday.
Striker Cong Phuong, who will play in Japan’s J.League 2 next season, shone with a double strike as the Central Highlands team dominated their opponents to whom they had lost 0-1 in a group match.
“HAGL improved after each match. They studied our strong and weak points and had a successful strategy in the final match,” An Ik Soo, coach of the U19 Korean team, said.
“However, our players faced a disadvantage because they did not have sufficient time to recover.”
HAGL coach Nguyen Quoc Tuan said his players took advantage of Korea’s weak defense to attack.
“I am happy with my players’ performance at this year’s event.”
HAGL began the match at Ho Chi Minh City’s Thong Nhat Stadium with five midfielders who made long passes to speedy strikers.
In the 24th minute Phuong scored the first goal from a distance after going past several defenders.
He completed his double when goalkeeper Son Bumkeun missed a cross from Van Toan in the 86th minute.
Earlier Vietnam lost 5-6 to Singapore on penalties in the third-place playoff.