Dong Nai wins U.21 trophy after penalty shootout

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Dong Nai took the 2010 National U.21 football championship after beating powerhouse Nghe An 5-4 in a penalty shootout at Gia Lai Province's Pleiku Stadium on Sunday.

They had already beaten Nghe An 1-0 win in their group's opening match, but this was a much closer match.

Nghe An played with lots of caution, but had to pick up after conceding the first goal just five minutes into the game.

They succeeded in scoring an equalizer just 10 minutes later, Trong Phi firing a shot that goalkeeper Thanh Diep could not reach.

Charged up by the equalizer, Nghe An's young players launched more attacks, putting Dong Nai under great pressure. The team showed why it was able to three consecutive national U.21 championships from 2000 to 2002.

The team capitalized on one of the opportunities they created to take the lead midway through the first half.

After the break, Dong Nai's striker Tuan Anh collected a neat pass from The Hung and made the score 2-2 after taking a neat pass from The Hung.

However, the team fell behind shortly afterwards, with Nghe An's fast counterattack paying off. Trong Phi and Dinh Bao combined beautifully before striker Dinh Bao beat goalkeeper Diep with a powerful shot from outside the penalty area.

Dong Nai refused to give up, and just minutes from full time, they found the equalizer when Thanh Tan scored from a free kick.

No more goals were scored in the match, and the champions had to be chosen after a penalty shootout.

Both sides were successful in their first four tries but Nghe An's Trong Phi failed to get his shot past the Dong Nai custodian, while Van Quyen fired in Dong Nai's fifth shot without fuss.

Dong Nai's victory in the National U.21 football championship is all the more impressive considering it is only the second tie that they were participating in the event.

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