Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai (No 19) celebrates a goal for Vietnam team in the finals of the AFC U23 Championship held in China. (Photo the-afc.com)
Vietnam’s head coach Park Hang-seo put forward his best line-up for the game with strikers Ha Duc Chinh and Nguyen Cong Phuong.
The RoK were on the attack from the start of the match. However, Vietnam took heed of Park’s tactics not to be overcome with the speed of their rival.
In the 17th minute, after receiving a pass from striker Phuong, midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai opened the score for Vietnam.
Three minutes later the RoK threatened to level the score, but Hwang Hyun-soo’s long range free-kick went narrowly wide of Vietnam’s goal.
In the 30th minute, Cho Young-wook leveled the score following an error by midfielder Tran Dinh Trong.
After the break, Doan Van Hau was given a yellow card after a foul on a Korean player in the box, giving the opponents a penalty. However, goalie Bui Tien Dung saved the shot for Vietnam.
After that, the RoK met the difficulties in facing Vietnamese defenders who played with focus and supported each other well.
In the 67th minute, goal keeper Dung once again saved a crucial shot for Vietnam. However, just seven minutes later, Lee Keun-ho put his header past Dung to push the score to 2-1.
With this loss, Vietnam is now third in the group. Australia, who beat Syria 3-1, and the RoK top the group with three points apiece.
Vietnam will next face Australia on January 14th and Syria on January 17th.
For the Southeast Asian region, this is the second time Vietnam and Thailand have competed in the AFC U23 Championship’s final round./.