Hosts Ninh Thuan lost 0-2 to Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) in the opener of the 16th edition of the Thanh Nien-sponsored U21 National Football Championship on Tuesday.
Le Duy Thanh, playmaker for the hosts, played pretty well in the midfield, making it possible for Ninh Thuan, considered to be the weakest team at the event, to be on equal terms with their powerhouse opponents for most of the match, and even create their own chances to score .
The first half ended without a goal and after the break, SLNA coach Dinh Van Dung used striker Dinh Bao to strengthen the attack and he duly delivered the opener after 16 minutes.
Ninh Thuan began to get impatient and focused more on attacks, allowing Bao to breach their defences again. The brace won Bao the "Player of the Match" prize.
In another match, Da Nang prevailed 3-2 over Mekong Delta representatives Dong Thap.