Vietnam, Thailand fight for U19 regional football title

TN News

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Vietnam will fight Thailand on Wednesday for the crown of the Under-19 Southeast Asian Football Championship after Vietnam's win over Malaysia and Thailand's win over hosts Myanmar in the semifinals on Monday.

Finishing the group stage on top of Group B, the Vietnamese teenagers were considered superior to the rivals from Malaysia.

However, the Malaysian players were tough in their defense and launched sudden attacks. The Vietnamese side could have conceded at least two goals if Muhammad Shafiq Azman's shot didn't go wide or Muhammad Akram Mahinan hadn't sent the ball to Vietnamese goalkeeper Son Hai.

The Vietnamese players put constant pressure on the rivals. Striker Xuan Nam kept Malaysian defenders very busy.

It was Nam who scored the opener near the end of the first half, putting Vietnam in the lead after firing a powerful shot about 25 meters from Malaysia's goal.

The Vietnamese team's advantage lasted only four minutes before Nur Areff Kamaruddin scored an equalizer after Arkam's free kick hit the wall of defense and bounced back.

The Vietnamese young players played even better in the second half and again it was striker Xuan Nam who scored his second goal in the match to earn Vietnam a win and a berth in the final match against Thailand who also beat hosts Myanmar 2-1 in the other semifinal.

In other action, the Vietnamese Under-16 footballers crushed Taiwan-China 4-0 in Group F at the ongoing U16 Asian Football Confederation Championship 2012 Qualifying round in Laos on Monday.

The Vietnamese boys with seven points are now still in third place behind group leaders Japan with nine points and second-placed South Korea with eight points.

Vietnam will next clash with Japan in the final group game on Thursday September 22. It is expected to be pretty hard for the Vietnamese boys.

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