| SOLO (26 Sept 2010) – Six days ago, Vietnam stunned China in the opening match of the AFF Under-16 Championship. Today, Vietnam defeated the Chinese by a similar 1-0 margin but this time it was in the final at the Manahan Stadium tonight. Striker Nguyen Xuan Nam was the hero of the night as he claimed the winner in the 44th minute after a scramble in front of goal.
Vietnam skipper Dang Anh Tuan, who had scored against China in the first game, helped create the winner today. During a quick break, Anh Tuan raced into the box and unleashed a shot which was blocked by Xu Jiamin. Xuan Nam blasted in the rebound to seal an important victory for his team ahead of the Asian Final round in Uzbekistan next month.
In the earlier held third-fourth playoff match, Timor Leste defeated Indonesia, also for the second time in this tournament, to bag the bronze. Timor won today’s game 2-0 thanks to goals from substitutes Fidel Santos and Rogerion Seran in the 50th and 56th minutes.
In tonight’s match, China coach Zhang Ning fielded a different team from their other matches. Tonight saw last man Liu Yiming, who received a red card in the opening game against Vietnam, was moved to the front of the attack. Regular strikers, Chen Shuo and Luo Tian, started on the bench.
It was evenly matched first half with both sides having equal possession. Action swung from end to end but it was China who created more chances. Despite not being without their regular strikers, the Chinese machine functioned well but was just off the mark.
Vietnam made their moves too but their attacks sputtered out as they reached the box. With two minutes on the clock, Vietnam made a quick break with Xuan Nam and several others racing towards goal. Skipper Dang Anh Tuan’s solid shot was pushed out but only to land in the path of Xuan Nam who blasted it into goal.
In the dying minutes, China almost scored a bizarre own goal. Luo Tian, in an effort to clear the ball, saw his shot hit Anh Tuan and whiz towards goal. Fortunately for China, Jiamin managed to punch it out. That was the closest China got to sniffing out a goal tonight. Vietnam held on grimly and claimed the title.
China: Xu Jiamin (GK), Liu Yiming, Hu Bowen (Luo Tian 36th), Liang Yu (Chen Shuo), Zheng Fengwei, Yang Shiyuan (cpt), Su Shun, Shen Tianfeng, Sun Zhengbao, Zhou Qiming (Zheng Dalun), Liao Junjian.
Vietnam: Nguyen Son Hai (GK), Nguyen Ha Long, Dao Duy Khanh, Dang Anh Tuan, Do Manh Giang, Huynh Tan Tai (Viet Thang), Vo Ngoc Duc, Nguyen Do, Vo Ngoc Toan, Nguyen Van Nui, Nguyen Xuan Nam (Ngoc Thang).