Vietnam’s under-15 soccer team lifted the crown of the 2017 AFF Under-15 Championship on Saturday after beating their Thai opponents 4-2 on penalties in the cup final.
It was only Vietnam’s second title in their 13-year history of taking part in the regional championship.
The 2017 AFF U-15 Championship, hosted by Thailand, saw the first edition of the tourney in the under-15 era, after having reverted from a traditionally under-16 competition.
The annual championship is organized by the ASEAN Football Federation for men's under-15 national teams of Southeast Asia.
On Saturday, the Vietnamese players faced hosts Thailand in the competition’s finale after six straight wins in previous matches against other teams.
The score at the end of the regulatory 80 minutes was 0-0.
Vietnam, who last won the tournament back in 2010, entered the match at the Chonburi Stadium with great confidence, answering attacks from the defending champions blow by blow.
Despite the overwhelming cheers from several thousand Thailand-supporting spectators at the arena, the Vietnamese kept their cool and coordinated attacks with cohesion.
However, the two halves of the match saw a string of missed chances from players of both, forcing the cup final to enter the dreaded penalty shootout.
Thailand got off the mark badly when Jakkrapong Sanmahung’s shot to the right was blocked by Vietnam’s keeper Nguyen Duy Dung.
Vietnam then went on to convert all their turns through Dinh Thanh Trung, Ngo Quang Thuan, Khuat Van Khang to put the score at 3-2 to their advantage.
When Sarawut Thongbai’s attempt was again saved by Duy Dung, it came down to Trinh Quang Truong to score the definitive goal for Vietnam.
Truong did not disappoint his teammates when he sent the ball to the right of Anuchid for the win, ending the match at 4-2 for Vietnam.
Highlights of the 2017 AFF U-15 Championship cup final between Vietnam and Thailand, July 22, 2017.