The Vietnam national under-23 team defended their AFF U23 Championship title with a 6-5 victory against Indonesia in penalty shootout in Rayong Stadium, Thailand on August 26 night.
|The Vietnam national under-23 team defended their AFF U23 Championship title with a 6-5 victory against Indonesia in penalty shootout in Rayong Stadium, Thailand on August 26 night. (Photo: VNA) |
Hanoi - The Vietnam national under-23 team defended their AFF U23 Championship title with a 6-5 victory against Indonesia in penalty shootout in Rayong Stadium, Thailand on August 26 night.
After a goalless 120 minutes, the match had to be decided on penalties, with keeper Quan Van Chuan proving to be the hero saving a penalty from Ernando Ari.
The match started with Indonesia's young starlets on the front foot. Vietnam had to deal with enormous pressure and forced to play defensively.
In the 26th minute, Rifky Setiawan's free kick from 20 metres could have opened the score for Shin Tae-yong's men, had it not been for Chuan's acrobatics.
Five minutes later, Vietnam replied with a great opportunity for Nguyen Minh Quang on the counter. Quang was through on goal, but his shot hit the outside of the post. As he went for the rebound, Quang was brought down by Alfeandra Dewangga inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Nguyen Quoc Viet, a scorer in the semifinal win over Malaysia, stepped up, but his penalty was saved by Ernando.
After Viet’s miss, Indonesia had even more mental advantages on their side, and took full control of the game. This momentum carried on into the second half, as the men from Indonesia created more opportunities than Vietnamese.
The most dangerous of which came in the 77th minute, when Sananta Ramadhan's free kick rattled not only the crossbar, but the hearts of Vietnamese fans everywhere.
The game was also notably plagued with vicious fouls and tackles from both sides, but Vietnam, having learned their lessons in the group stage match against Philippines, kept their cool and stayed strong in defence for the rest of the match.
In extra time, as fatigue kicked in, both teams played more carefully and the match ended goalless after 120 minutes.
Five players from both sides confidently took their spot kicks, until keeper Ernando stepped up to take the sixth penalty.
Having saved a penalty earlier in the first half, Ernando could have been the hero for Indonesia, but fate chose Van Chuan, as the Hanoi FC goalkeeper pushed away Ernando's shot, in an ironically similar fashion to Ernando's earlier save against Quoc Viet.
18-year-old Thai Ba Dat, one of Vietam’s rising stars, then successfully took the decisive kick that gave Vietnam victory and the title.
The win marked Vietnam’s successful title defence, after success at the 2022 AFF U23 Championship in Cambodia.
After the tournament, some of the players will be chosen to join with Philippe Troussier's Vietnam Under-23 team, who are preparing for the AFC U23 Asian Cup qualifiers in September.
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