| PHNOM PENH (September 1, 2007) – Vietnam took third spot in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-17 Championship when they beat Indonesia 4-3 through penalty kicks in the fight for third and fourth place here at the National Olympic Stadium.
Kurniawan and Ramdhan Akbar missed their kicks for Indonesia while Nguyen Ngoc Quy did not convert his for Vietnam to give the defending champions third place in the current edition.
The score at the end of regulation was 1-1 with Vietnam’s Giang Tran Quach Tan erasing Indonesia’s earlier strike from Sahlan Sodik.
“We are satisfied with the third place because of the short preparation that we have had before coming here to Phnom Penh for this year’s championship,” said Vietnam head coach Dinh Hong Vinh.
“It has been a very hard tournament because of the weather where it is hot in the morning only for it to rain in the afternoon. It has been quite an experience and we have all learnt things from here.”
Under cooler conditions in the early morning, the game started well for Indonesia with an attempt in the eighth minute from Sahlan which was blocked by Vietnam reserve keeper Dinh Viet Tu, who had to come into the game following the suspension of regular custodian Tran Van Phu.
In the 16th minute, Ramdhan Akbar broke through Vietnam’s defensive line only to be followed with a meek shot while a minute later, Vietnam replied with a rifling shot from Ngo Hoang Thinh which narrowly missed the upright.
That failure to score allowed Indonesia to stage a quick counter-attack where barely a minute later, they got the lead they were looking for when off a long pass from the defence, Sahlan blasted home with the outside of his left foot.
As Indonesia was lulled with the score that they have carved, Vietnam’s constant pressing paid dividends in the 29th minute when off a pass from Hoang Thinh, Giang Tran drove the ball home for the equaliser.
With the heat picking up in the second half, chances were few and far in between as both teams remained deadlock in the centre of the park.
The loss of captain Hoang Thinh in the 84th minute who was given his marching orders by referee U Tien Shein from Myanmar did not give Indonesia the edge to force the game straight into penalty kicks.
Indonesia’s first miss from Kurniawan seems to be almost prophetic as even though Vietnam’s Nguyen Ngoc Quy did blast the ball over for their only miss, they maintained their composure to convert the rest of the penalties for the final score line.
“It was too bad that it had to come to penalties and in the penalties, anything can happen,” added Indonesia head coach Urias.
“Vietnam still managed to hold us off with ten-man, so for them to win this game was really deserving.”
PIC: VIETNAM (in white) against INDONESIA (in red)