Fierce U21 semifinal battles today

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Reigning champs Dong Nai will clash with Nam Dinh while hosts Binh Duong will take on Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) at the Under-21 National Football Championship 2011 semifinals in Binh Duong today.

SLNA advanced to the semifinals of the September 8-18 15th edition of the U21 football event on Wednesday by beating group B leaders Dong Nai 2-0.

With a semifinal berth under their belt, defending champs Dong Nai didn't have all their favorite players on the field during the clash with SLNA.

SLNA looked superior from the beginning and their advantage resulted in an opener after five minutes when Gia Tu scored from a penalty kick.

The early goal heightened SLNA players' spirits and they played even better, taking complete control of the game and doubling the score 10 minutes after the break to win the match and book a semi berth as a second-placed team behind the reigning champs.

In the other Group B encounter taking place at the same time, the Central Highlands' Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) put on their best performance at the tournament and beat in the Mekong Delta rivals Dong Thap 4-2.

HAGL ended the group stage in the third spot with four points from a win, a draw and a loss, while Dong Thap sat at the bottom with two defeats and a draw.

In Group A matches taking place earlier, Binh Duong took a 2-1 win over Nam Dinh to finish the group stage on top of the group with nine points from all three wins.

Despite the defeat, Nam Dinh earned a semifinal spot because their arch rivals V&V United lost 1-2 to Dong Tam Long An (DTLA).

Nam Dinh, V&V United and DTLA all had three points but Nam Dinh took second place in the group on goal difference.

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