Late goal sinks Young Socceroos
The Young Socceroos lost their first game of the ASEAN Football Federation's Under 19 Youth Championship on Friday after conceding a late goal.
Hosts Vietnam trumped Australia in the 88th minute with striker Cong Phuong dribbling past a raft of Young Socceroos before firing into the bottom corner of the net, sparking wild celebrations amongst the local fans.
The match was the first of two group games for Paul Okon's side, with the possibility of another two games if they advance to the knockout stage, as they prepare for the 2014 AFC Under 19 Championship in Myanmar next month.
That tournament will double as qualification for the 2015 FIFA Under 20 World Cup.
In Ha Noi, Australia struggled to control possession and were forced to play on the counter-attack against the home side.
An early chance from Nguyen Hong Duy was well saved by Anthony Bouzanis and after keeping Vietnam at bay for the opening half hour, the Young Socceroos almost took the lead in the 36th minute when Shannon Brady's header was deflected just wide of the post.
The visitors had the first genuine chance after the break with Brandon Borrello hitting the post after evading two opponents.
But that was about as good as it got for Okon's side with Vietnam dominating the rest of the match, wasting a number of chances before Phuong notched the winner in the closing stages.
The Young Socceroos' next match will be against Japan on Sunday.