Dong Nai will face Nghe An in the final match of the 2010 National U.21 football competition after a 1-0 win over Binh Dinh in Gia Lai on Friday.
The new squad has proved very strong at the 14th edition of the Thanh Nien-sponsored event this year, and with Binh Dinh also a familiar name at the contest, the semifinal at Pleiku Stadium was expected to be a hard fought match.
The expectations were not belied. Both teams played hard, attacking football, but their defenders proved equal to the task. The first half ended without a goal.
The second half continued to be exciting but a handball by a Binh Dinh player in the penalty area 15 minutes from full time cost them dear.
Huu Phat made no mistake from the penalty spot, helping Dong Nai advance to the final match of the country's number one youth football contest where they will challenge Nghe An, who've won the event for three consecutive years from 2000 to 2002.
In an earlier semifinal match on Thursday, Nghe An overcame hosts Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) in another close encounter.
The Central Highlands team took the lead just 10 minutes before full time, but Nghe An didn't give up. The found the equalizer in the final seconds of the game and went on to beat the hosts 5-4 in the penalty shootout.
Semifinal losers HAGL and Dong Nai both shared the third place, each getting a VND60 million cash prize.
The final match between Nghe An and Dong Nai will take place at Pleiku Stadium on Sunday, October 17.