Cong Phuong's late goal earned Vietnam three points in their opening match against U19 Australia of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Nuti Food U19 Cup taking place in Hanoi on September 5.
It was a rematch of the two teams after their qualifying clash at the Asian U19 Championships in Malaysia a year ago in which Vietnam stunned Australia 5-1.
The first half was not dramatic as expected, with Australian players applying the defensive tactic to repel their rivals' attacks.
|Cong Phuong scored the only goal for Vietnam in their opening clash with Australia|
On 14 minutes, Hong Duy ventured down to the left, receiving the ball set up by Quang Hai, but his last shot failed to win Australian goalkeeper Bouzanis.
Australian players had several chances to test the Vietnamese goalkeeper's skills, but they missed all.
After the interval, both teams gathered pace to take control of the game.
In a counterattack, Australia's Borrello broke Vietnam's defence line to step in, but the ball hit the vertical bar.
From the 70th minute on, Vietnamese players missed two scoring chances, with Thanh Tung's shot past the horizontal bar, and Tung himself setting up the ball for Van Long to hammer in from the penalty box, but Long failed.
When the match had several minutes to go, Australian players regained momentum thanks to their physical strength. Their offensive tactic forced Vietnamese defenders and the goalie to work very hard.
In a lightning solo performance, Cong Phuong travelled past a number of Australian players and scored the only goal for Vietnam on 88 minutes.
Vietnam's 1-0 win over Australia in their opening game opened the door for the hosts to qualify for the semi-finals.
In Group A opener the same day, U19 Thailand crushed U19 Indonesia 6-2.
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