Vietnam sealed their place in the last four after easing past Myanmar 2-0 in their last AFF Under-19 Championship Group B match at the National Sports Complex Stadium here tonight. Vietnam’s win also paved the way for Malaysia to finish second and thus advance to the semifinals as well.
It was a bitter blow for Myanmar though as they only needed a draw tonight to advance to the next stage along with Vietnam. Prior to the game, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar were all tied on seven points each but were separated by various goal differences. Malaysia, who did not play today, could only watch and wait for the outcome of tonight’s crucial encounter.
Vietnam, as the group winners, will face Group A runners-up Laos while Thailand, the Group B champs, will duel with the Malaysians on Wednesday.
In front of over 3,000 mainly Vietnamese fans and a heavy drizzle, Myanmar gave their opponents a nasty shock in the very first minute of the match. Aung Phyo Phyo raced down the centre and quickly set up Aung Zin Phyo, who managed to slip the ball past an onrushing keeper. Unfortunately for Myanmar, the ball veered just off target.
Two minutes later, Myanmar had another close call but Phyo Phyo’s freekick was punched out by Nguyen Thanh Tuan. Had any one of these attempts gone in, the game could have taken a different life altogether.
Myanmar would be ripping their hair out for missing the early chances for Vietnam, who were clearly uncomfortable in the wet, soon found their rhythm. In the next 10 minutes, Pham Trong Hoa and Nguyen Tien Linh both missed their chances.
Then, with four minutes to spare before the break, Vietnam found the opener when Tran Duy Khanh burst through to boot his shot past the keeper.
Vietnam continued to push for more goals while Myanmar battled in search of the equaliser. The action swung from side to side with both sides have their fair share of attempts at goal. In the end though, Vietnam intercepted an attack and quickly launched forward with Trong Hoa confidently whipping in the second goal of the night.
Timor Leste 1 Singapore 1
Myanmar 0 Vietnam 2
4.00pm: Thailand vs Malaysia
7.00pm: Vietnam vs Laos
4.00pm: 3rd-4th Playoff
Note: For full fixtures and details, please go to www.aseanfootball.org