Vietnam beats 10-man China in AFF U16 opener
Late goal by captain Dang Anh Tuan earned Vietnam a 1-0 win over 10-man China in the opener of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U16 Championship in Indonesia on Monday.
China is obviously one of the strongest at the contest but their defender Liu Yiming was sent off some 15 minutes from full time.
An AFF website report said the loss of the defender was not the main reason for China's loss to Vietnam at the Manahan Stadium in Solo.
"Although China had the bigger share of possession, their strikers were unable to crack the Vietnam defense," the report said.
Vietnamese coach Hoang Van Phuc said, "The turning point came in the second half when Vietnam switched from firm defense to fast attacks, surprising the Chinese rivals, bringing lots of trouble to the Chinese players, who deliberately resorted to several fouls."
Consequently, Liu Yiming picked up two yellow cards and was sent off before China conceded the 83rd-minute goal.
Phuc said, "The Vietnamese players had a good strategy with players in every position playing consistently."
The team had played against big rivals like the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea in the qualifiers last year, so they were not afraid of bigger opponents. Phuc said he hoped the players would continue to play well against Indonesia in the next game.
Reported by Giang Lao