CHONBURI (4 August 2019) – Vietnam provided a dramatic conclusion to the Group A matches when striker Cai Van Quy blasted a late winner to secure their place in the semi-finals and in the process knock-out Timor Leste of the AFF Under-15 Championship here today. Earlier, Indonesia had booked their place in the last four when they defeated Myanmar 5-0.
Timor Leste, who had been the group leaders from the start, only required a draw to advance but their failure to break through the solid Vietnamese defence tonight ended their hopes of moving on. In the end, Indonesia topped the standings with 13 points while Vietnam next on 12 and Timor Leste third with 10 points.
With three minutes on the clock, in a counter-attack, Van Quy crashed through the defence and slammed in the winner. The Timor Leste players fell in despair, but they quickly picked themselves up and tried to get the equaliser, but they soon ran out of time.
Indonesia and Vietnam will have to wait until tomorrow to find out who their opponents will be in the semi-finals on Wednesday. At this point, Malaysia leads Group B with Thailand next in line and Australia just behind. The Malaysians and Thais, who will face each other tomorrow, are tied on 10 points each while Australia has seven points. For Australia to sneak in, they will need to overcome the huge goal difference Malaysia and Thailand have now. The Aussies are up against bottom-placed Brunei.
Indonesia vs Myanmar
There was no other option for Indonesia but to win their match today to ensure their place in the semi-finals. Although they had won their four earlier matches, Indonesia still needed full points in their final group game today advance.
One of the better teams so far here, Indonesia did not waste time getting their act on the road. After some initial forays upfront, they soon grabbed the opening goal in the ninth minute. Mochamad Faizal Shaifullah’s superb freekick just to the left of the box, passed the wall, and veered in as goalkeeper Htet Arkar Win tried desperately to stop it.
The Indonesians would have several attempts and would put in another in the 31st minute through Marselino Ferdinand who is the team’s leading scorer with five goals. Indonesia had a fine start, just two minutes after the break, when Mochamad Faizal raced down the right and cracked in his team’s third.
Indonesia finished off their rivals with two more strikes from Ruy Arianto and Valeroen in the 56th and 80th minutes.
Singapore vs Philippines
It was a matter of trying to finish off with at least a win. And Singapore turned out to be the ones to claim three points today. They grabbed the lead in the 35th minute when Seng Hong Kai slammed in a loose ball after a freekick.
Then, in the 47th minute, striker Amir Syafiz Abdul Rashid added a second off a shot in from Hong Kai. But then Philippines would force the game to be levelled in a four-minute blitz with goals from Mark Dadivas (62nd) and Uriel Dalapo (65th). Their joy was shortlived as Ethan Henry Pinto sent the Singaporeans ahead again with a long-range shot in the 66th minute.
In the end, Singapore ended with four points and fifth in the group while Philippines were sixth.
Vietnam vs Timor Leste
It was Timor who were more threatening, at least in the first half. There was much at stake with the winner assured of a place in the semi-finals. Alexandro Kefi could have given his team the early lead but he sent his shot just over the bar in the 11th minute. Midway through the first half, Alexandro, the team’s second highest scorer with five goals, limped off the pitch which was a setback for Timor.
Vietnam had a whiff at goal in the 26th minute but Vo Anh Quan fired into the keeper. It was among the few attempts Vietnam had in a first half dominated by Timor Leste. Strikers, Serafin Da Brito, Alexandro and skipper Paulo Freitas, were constantly troubling their opponents who did well to with their offside traps.
The second half saw Timor Leste doing most of the attacking again, but they were constantly blocked by the Vietnamese defenders, who performed brilliantly tonight. Timor Leste’s Paulo Freitas, the tournament’s top scorer with seven goals, was stopped at every turn. The loss of his partner up front, Alexandro, also made a difference.
With the game grinding to an end, Vietnam served up a surprise when Van Quy snatched the winner.
RESULTS AND FIXTURES
Venue: Institute of Physical Education (IPE)
Indonesia bt Myanmar 5-0
Singapore bt Philippines 3-2
Vietnam bt Timor Leste 1-0
1500hrs: Laos vs Cambodia
1530hrs: Brunei vs Australia
1800hrs: Thailand vs Malaysia
NOTE: Teams in bold qualify for the semi-finals