The Vietnamese side defeated Frenz United Malaysia to secure the much-coveted final spot
Frenz United Malaysia crashed out of the Asia Champions Trophy U-16 2014 (ACT) after a late strike from Le Ngoc Bao gave PVF Vietnam a 1-0 victory in this second-leg semi-finals tie at Frenz Stadium in Janda Baik, Pahang on Sunday night.
The Vietnamese, who pulverised the hosts 3-0 in the first-leg semi-finals a week earlier at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City with a Nguyen Vu Tin hat-trick, marched into the August 23 and August 31 home-and-away final on a 4-0 aggregate.
PVF Vietnam will meet either Harimau Muda U-16 or defending champions Chonburi FC of Thailand in the final. Coach S. Balachandran’s young tigers go into action against the Thais on Monday night in Chonburi. The Malaysian won 3-1 in the first-leg semi-finals and go into the match with a two-goal advantage.
“Our plan was to score early goals in the first half but we just could not find the net,” said Frenz United Malaysia coach Matdinos Talib. “PVF Vietnam played very well today. Although we are out of this tournament, I strongly believe this squad is capable of doing much better and I will work on preparing them for upcoming tournaments.”
It was indeed a sad ending for Matdinos’ Black Dragons following a brilliant start to this second edition of the ACT in front of an estimated 1,000 fans.
Expectations ran high of two-Malaysian teams moving into the final of ACT 2014, which boasts one of the most lucrative prize money ever offered in the Asian region for an under-age tournament, following Harimau Muda U-16 team and Frenz United Malaysia’s qualification into the semi-finals.
However, this soon evaporated into thinly veiled hopes for Frenz United Malaysia as they needed to win by clear four goals in this return leg encounter to justify a place in the final after the 3-0 defeat against the Vietnamese.
PVF Vietnam head coach, Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Chuong, said: "I'm very happy of my players as they played very well in this return-leg match. Frenz United Malaysia has always been a tough team to beat and I am quite satisfied with a 1-0 win here.”
Ngoc Bao’s 84th minute goal shattered the hearts of home fans and Black Dragons as there was less and less they could do with the clock ticking away. To add to their misery, midfielder Mohammad Syafiq Abdul Halim was red-carded after a robust tackle on Nguyen Huu Kien two minute into regulation time.
The Vietnamese dominated play for the first 10 minutes before striker Mohd Akhmar Haiqal tested goalkeeper Phan Van Bieu with a powerful shot which sailed into the keeper’s hands. From then on it was simply a tale of near-misses for the Black Dragons.