Keeper Dang Tuan Hung saved a victorious Vietnam in a penalty shootout against Timor Leste in the AFF U23 Youth Championship semifinals Thursday thanks to instruction from the coaches.
“The coaches showed me how to read and put pressure on the opponent in the penalty shootout. I also told myself to push my limits on this one,” Hung said of the game in Cambodia.
Hung is the third goalkeeper in the squad, but he became the main choice for the semifinal after the two other keepers Y Eli Nie and Trinh Xuan Hoang got Covid-19. In his first start for the U23 team, Hung became the hero after saving a penalty from Timor Leste’s Felipe Oliveira and helping Vietnam win 5-3 on penalties.
Vietnam only had 13 players for the game after multiple Covid-19 cases were detected in the squad. In extra time, head coach Dinh The Nam even had to put keeper Tran Liem Dieu on to play as a striker after Nguyen Thanh Trung couldn’t continue playing.
“This victory is remarkable. My teammates have tried their very best. I’m also grateful for the fans who have loved and supported us,” Hung added.
Vietnam used its U21 squad for AFF U23 Youth Championship to prepare for 2023 SEA Games. The team faced a tough challenge as there are 24 players with Covid-19. Coach Nam had to use up 10 additions from Vietnam to gather enough players for the semifinals.
The final between Vietnam and Thailand will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and be reported live on VnExpress International.
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