Hanoi T&T wins U21 national title for first time

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Hanoi T&T won the Under-21 National Football Championship for the first time on Sunday, beating underdog newcomers Vinh Long 2-0 in the final match in Hai Phong.

Though the hosts V. Hai Phong were defeated by Vinh Long in the semifinals, football fans from Hai Phong still filled Lach Tray Stadium to support the two teams in the final game in Vietnam's number one youth football tournament.

The importance of the final game made the two teams very cautious. With a team of equally good players, Hanoi T&T created more scoring chances but they wasted most of them before fullback Van Huyen scored the opener for the capital side a minute before half time.

After conceding the first goal, the young players from Vinh Long still did not play in a relaxed mood like they had done in their other games at the 17th edition of the national football contest.

Worse still, the Mekong Delta representatives conceded the second goal after Thanh Quang tackled Van Thuan of Hanoi T&T and Pham Van Thanh made no mistake in his penalty spot.

Hanoi T&T's great control of the match, together with the excellence of goalkeeper Van Cong, helped them stand firm against the  attacks Vinh Long till the final minute.

His great contribution to Hanoi T&T's championship earned goalkeeper Van Cong the "the event's best goalkeeper" title while striker Tran Dinh Truong of Vinh Long was chosen the best player of the tournament and the best striker, thanks to his three goals.

It was a great encouragement Dinh Truong deserved to get for helping Vinh Long make its way all through to the final game though they were considered the worst team at the event this year.

Speaking after the match, Coach Luong Trung Dan of Vinh Long said, "I would like to congratulate Hanoi T&T on their victory. The better team deserved to be the winners. The Vinh Long players did their best throughout the game and I am pleased with their performance in this match.

"Advancing to the final game was great enough. On behalf of the coaching staff and the players, I would like to thank the fans in Hai Phong for their presence and support in this game."

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