Undergoing a tough season with emotional matches during which they made utmost efforts to overcome themselves, the young PVF players brought home the championship title of the National U10 Viettel Cup, succeeding their predecessors and keeping up the glory for the Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent- PVF.
2012 was the first year Viettel jointly organized the National U10 tournament with Children Newspaper. The entire PVF lineup at the tourney was made up of Cohort 4 students who PVF recruitment crew had just discovered in 39 cities and provinces in March and April in 2012.
The team thus did not have much time to prepare for this year’s tourney. However, in the skilled hands of coaches who are former star players of Vietnam football, the boys quickly glided from total strangers into the components of a close-knit, sturdy team who competed outstandingly and claimed the championship deservingly to rival teams’ awe and fans’ admiration.
This year’s tourney drew 19 teams from across the country which were divided into four groups. The PVF U10 was in Group D with Daklak, Thanh Hóa, Ninh Thuận, and Phú Nhuận District-HCMC. At the qualifying round, the PVF U10 easily topped the group with four wins: beating “fellowteam” Phú Nhuận-HCMC 5 – 2, winning over Daklak 2 – 1, “bombarding” Thanh Hóa 8 – 1 and defeating Ninh Thuận 3 – 2.
At the quarterfinal against Thái Bình, PVF knocked out the opponent 7 – 1 with ease. They also crushed the Phú Yên team with a broad score difference 7 – 2 and sent them home.
Eagerly advancing into the final against the Nghệ An team, the PVF showed their excitement and strong determination to be crowned the champion.
Right after the opening whistle, the boys made forays in hopes of scoring an early goal to reassure the entire team. Right at the second minute of the match, Nguyễn Thế Hùng made a decisive shot into the Nghe An team’s net, but the ball bumped into the goalpost.
The goalposts and crossbar kept rejecting the PVF boys’ shots during the following minutes. As a harsh rule, after making continuous forays without scoring a goal, the PVF players took two goals into their net as the first half ended.
After the break, the PVF coaching panel decided to change players, replacing Huỳnh Nguyễn Khánh Hưng with Đoàn Chí Bảo. At the beginning of the second half, the PVF team still held the upper hand, continuously launching attacks for scores. However, on an unlucky day, the goalposts and crossbar, as a sixth player, kept safeguarding the Nghệ An team net.
During a move in which they were so intent on the attack, the PVF players failed to retreat on time to defend their net and thus took the third losing goal. With only 10 minutes left, the PVF team were led 3 – 0. Everything seemed to come to an end, but with glowing aspirations for victory and unyieldingness to obstacles, the PVF boys finally did a seemingly impossible feat.
At the 32th minute of the second half, Nguyễn Thế Hùng made a trance-like long-range shot from the center, knocking out the Nghệ An goalie. The hard-earned first score drew the PVF boys back to a psychological balance.
At the 36th minute, Đoàn Chí Bảo scored the second goal for PVF. The PVF players’ ecstasy surged, while the Nghệ An footballers showed signs of a breakdown. Taking advantage of this, the PVF boys made forays so as to score a draw goal.
Only two minutes before the match ended, Đoàn Chí Bảo acted as a hero when passing the ball through two opponent defenders in another trance-like move and knocking out the opponent goalie.
The entire Khánh Hòa stadium seemed to explode in elation, with PVF fans cheering in jubilation and trying to bolster their “dear children” morale. The PVF and Nghệ An teams ended the two official halves in a 3 – 3 draw.
The two teams took on the penalty area shoots to decide on the winner. At this tenseful war of nerves, the PVF players displayed a more steady fighting spirit and won 3 – 2 to officially become the first champion of the National U10 tournament. Apart from the entire team’s championship trophy, players Nguyễn Thế Hùng, Đoàn Chí Bảo and Nguyễn Quốc Quân were also enlisted on the typical line-up of this year’s tourney.