Margao, Sep 22 (IANS) Vietnam sealed a quarter-final berth in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 football Championship after a 3-1 win over Kyrgyzstan saw the Southeast Asians claim the runner-up spot in Group B here on Thursday.
The Central Asians opened the scoring early on at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium through Gulzhigit Alykulov only for Vietnam’s Nguyen Khac Khiem to hit back on 20 minutes as the tie remained firmly in the balance at the interval.
Emir Shigaibaev headed into his own net after a mistake by goalkeeper Elgard Sychev on 80 minutes before substitute Nguyen Tran Viet Cuong rounded off the scoring three minutes from time as Vietnam set up a clash with Group A winners Iran on Sunday.
Needing to overcome their Southeast Asian opponents to advance to the quarter-finals, Kyrgyzstan responded in perfect fashion to their 0-8 drubbing to Japan by taking the lead in the sixth minute.
Fresh from their stunning come-from-behind win over Australia, though, Vietnam fought back strongly and were back on level terms thanks to Khiem’s goal.