Vietnam's U23 football team got a good start following a 4-1 victory over their Lao rivals in their opening game of the Southeast Asian Football Federation (AFF) Championship 2023 on August 20 in Thailand.
|Coach Hoang Anh Tuan (right) and midfielder Minh Quang at the press conference. (Photo: VNA)
Bangkok – Vietnam's U23 football team got a good start following a 4-1 victory over their Lao rivals in their opening game of the Southeast Asian Football Federation (AFF) Championship 2023 on August 20 in Thailand.
Vietnam won big as expected, but had a difficult time when Laos equalised at the beginning of the second half. However, the substitutions contributed three consecutive goals to help the team come back and won 4-1.
The four goals were scored by Minh Khoa in the 23rd minute; Minh Quang, the 72nd minute; Xuan Tien, the 76th minute; and Vi Hao, the 90th minute.
Meanwhile, Thipphachan brought home the only score for Laos in the 52rd minute.
Speaking at a press conference following the match, Vietnam coach Hoang Anh Tuan said he is satisfied with the hard-won victory.
Midfielder Quang was honoured the best footballer in the match.
Coach Gugliermo Arena of the Lao squad admitted that Vietnamese footballers are more experienced and stronger than his who, he said, need to play more in such regional tournaments to sharpen their skills.
U23 Vietnam is in Group C alongside U23 Laos and U23 Philippines. In their next match against the Philippines on August 22, Vietnam only need a draw to cruise into the knock-out stage.
The 2023 AFF U23 Championship kicked off on August 17 and the final game will take place on August 26.
Ten participating teams are divided into three groups with group winners and the best runners-up of the three groups advancing to the semifinals.
Vietnam won the tournament for the first time last year after beating Thailand 1-0 in the final.