Attacking play fetched Vietnam a 4-2 win over Thailand at the Thanh Nien Newspaper Under-21 International Football Championships in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday.
The Vietnamese team, selected from last month’s U-21 national championship, took an early lead in the sixth minute when Van Thanh went past two Thai defenders to score.
In the 13th minute Ho Tuan Tai scored the second with a header past goalkeeper Panupan Juheng Wiritpol.
The Thai team made up of young players from Thai League runner-up Muangthong United, managed to level the score in the first half with two goals by Surun Puangbut and Apiwat Sarasarin in the 22nd and 43rd minutes.
In the 50th minute Lam Ti Phong got a pass from Xuan Thanh and beat Wiritpol with a volley.
Six minutes later Xuan Manh scored the fourth goal for Vietnam with a header.
Coach Pham Minh Duc said his team has no weak points.
But he admitted to being surprised by his players’ show against a strong Thailand.
“Many people asked me why I chose players like Xuan Manh, Tuan Tai, and Lam Ti Phong. I said I chose them because I understand them well.
“I have told them to maintain the intensity against Singapore in the next match though we have already booked a ticket to the semifinals.”
Vietnam have three points while the two others in Group B, Thailand and Singapore, have a point each after their 2-2 draw on November 20.
Vietnam play Singapore at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday (November 24).
In Group A, Myanmar will play Hoang Anh Gia Lai at 6 p.m. the same day. Both matches will be shown live on VTV6.