U16 Vietnam falls to U16 Thailand in ASEAN U16 boys’ championship 2024 Semifinals

U16 Vietnam’s journey in the Southeast Asian U16 Championship came to a heartbreaking halt as they suffered a 1-2 defeat against U16 Thailand in the semifinals held at 3 PM on July 1.

Facing U16 Thailand in the semifinals was the toughest challenge for U16 Vietnam since the tournament began. Despite an impressive run in Group B, scoring 21 goals against U16 Brunei, U16 Myanmar, and U16 Cambodia, the Thai youth team always posed a formidable challenge.

From the outset, U16 Thailand demonstrated their strength, entering the match with great enthusiasm. Although both teams had similar ball possession, Thailand’s attacks were more varied and effective, particularly in the first half.

In the 7th minute, Vietnamese goalkeeper Nguyen Van Thang Long made a spectacular save, diving to block a dangerous header from a Thai player. Vietnam responded with a chance of their own in the 22nd minute, but Việt Long failed to capitalize on a well-coordinated attack.

As the first half drew to a close, Thang Long’s goal was under constant threat from Thailand’s relentless pressure. He made another crucial save in the 42nd minute, pushing away a long-range shot. Just before halftime, Poramet Laoongdi’s powerful free-kick narrowly missed the target.

The second half saw both teams eager to avoid a penalty shootout, maintaining a high-paced, attacking game. Coach Tran Minh Chien’s adjustments at halftime paid off when Nguyễn Hồng Quang was fouled in the box in the 50th minute. After consulting VAR, referee Du Jianxin awarded a penalty to Vietnam, which Đau Hong Phong converted confidently in the 52nd minute to give Vietnam the lead.

However, Thailand quickly equalized. In the 61st minute, Phuriphan Phothong capitalized on a defensive lapse, heading the ball past Thang Long to level the score at 1-1.

Both teams continued to push for a winner, but their finishing lacked precision. In the 81st minute, Thanh Bình’s powerful shot from the edge of the box flew across the face of the goal. Moments later, his header from a Việt Long cross also failed to find the net.

Tragedy struck Vietnam in stoppage time. In the 90+3rd minute, Siwakorn Ponsan’s clever pass found Chaiwat Ngoenma, who controlled the ball expertly and fired a quick left-footed shot past Thang Long, securing a 2-1 victory for Thailand.

Despite their best efforts during the 12 minutes of added time, U16 Vietnam could not find an equalizer as Thailand’s disciplined pressing and defensive organization held firm.

With this defeat, U16 Vietnam’s hopes of reaching the final were dashed. They will now compete in the third-place playoff against the loser of the U16 Indonesia vs. U16 Australia match.

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