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Sports News Headlines 10/3

 International women’s cycling tourney opens in Binh Duong; Swimmers, finswimmers to test skills in nat'l champs; Quang Nam beat Ninh Binh 3-1; VN score sepak takraw win; Nam out of Chang Thailand

Vietnam and Japan meet again at AFF U19 football competition

The Vietnam national U19 football team are excited to avenge their past losses to U19 Indonesia and U19 Japan when they play these two opponents at the 2014 AFF U19 Football Championship, hosted in Vietnam from September 5-13.

The nine-day competition is expected to see some interesting matches among the four Southeast Asian teams, including Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar, all qualified for the 2014 Asian U-19 finals, and two other continental-level invitees, Australia and Japan.

U19 Vietnam, coached by Guillaume Graechen, cleared Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar in last year’s group-stage qualification, but bitterly lost the final match to Indonesia on penalties.

Vietnam demolished Australia 5-1 in their last group qualifying match last October to storm into the finals of the 2014 AFC U19 Football Championship, but suffered a shocking 0-7 loss to Japan at the International U19 Football Tournament in Ho Chi Minh City earlier this year.

The AFF U19 competition is a perfect warm-up for U19 Vietnam ahead of their AFC U-19 finals campaign, scheduled for October in Myanmar.

International women’s cycling tourney opens in Binh Duong

The fourth International Women’s Cycling Tournament (Biwase Cup 2014) kicked off in the southern province of Binh Duong on March 7.

The event attracted 70 cyclists from 11 local teams and three teams from Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.

The annual tournament aims to provide local cyclists with a good opportunity to hone their professional skills and gain experience from foreign competitors in preparation for regional and international competitions.

Nguyen Thi That from the Vinh Binh An Giang Rice team won the 105-km first stage from Binh Duong to the Xuan Loc district of Dong Nai province on the same day, with a time of 3:18:53.

With a total time of 9:56: 39, the Vinh Binh An Giang Rice team also took the lead in the team event, followed by the teams from the Binh Duong Environment Water and Drainage company and Japan.

As scheduled, the cyclists will compete in an 80-km stage from Bao Loc city to the Duc Trong district of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong on March 8.

The tournament will run until March 14.

That wins third stage, Nhien retains yellow jersey

Nguyen Thi That took her second stage win yesterday at the International Women's Cycling Binh Duong Open, while Duong Thi Bich Nhien maintained her place at the top of the rankings.

That took 1hr 16.13min to finish first the 10-lap 51km around Xuan Huong Lake in Da Lat City.

Thailand's Lan Jutatip Maneephan and Boonsawat Panwaraporn came second and third.

That, of the Vinh Binh An Giang Rice team, also pocketed 20 points to extend her lead the sprint for the green jersey.

Nhien of Domesco Pharmacy Dong Thap was not in the top three finishers but her total time of 7:02.23 was enough to keep her in front after three stages.

In the team rankings, Dong Thap 2 lead with a total time of 21:12.22, followed by Binh Duong 1 and Thailand. Today, cyclists will race 48km around Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province.

Hao overcomes former national champion Khanh

Tran Thi Tam Hao came from behind to beat defending champion Huynh Phi Khanh 6-7, 6-1, 7-5 in the quarter-finals of the National Women's Tennis Championships yesterday in HCM City.

It was Hao's day despite making Khanh to work hard to take the first set on a tie breaks.

She continued her outstanding performance in the second set to break twice to level the match.

The third set reached 5-5 before Hao went ahead with the only break point of the set to steal a berth in the semi-finals.

Her rival will be Phan Thi Thanh Binh of Da Nang who beat Pham Thi Dong Trinh from Kien Giang 6-1, 6-2.

Swimmers, finswimmers to test skills in nat'l champs

The National Swimming and Finswimming 25m Pool Championships will be organised in Hue this year.

The finswimming events will start on March 16 while the swimming competitions will take place from March 19-23 at the Aquatic Sports Centre.

The tournament is a chance for swimming coaches to review national athletes' progress.

The top finishers will be selected for the national teams.

Quang Nam beat Ninh Binh 3-1

Quang Nam came from behind to beat Ninh Binh 3-1 in the seventh round match of the national V-League yesterday.

Kiekka Henry scored a double for the host team in the second half, while Dinh Thanh Trung scored the final third goal in the last second of the game.

Earlier, Tran Manh Dung opened the score for the visitors in the 27th minute.

An experienced Ninh Binh started dominating in the first half of the match as they launched consecutive attacks.

One of them was converted into a goal when Annas Kavin gave a perfect pass to Dung in the box whose straight shot left the goalie Pham Ngoc Tu of Quang Nam dumbfounded.

Coach Vu Quang Bao made several changes during the second half.

Substitute Nguyen Van Vinh made his presence felt on the field with an accurate pass that lead to an equalizer for the host in the 66th minute.

Ugandan striker Henry scored his second goal just 14 minutes later from a close-range shot.

After the second goal, the Ninh Binh players looked confused. They failed to regroup and conceded the third goal as a result of a counter-attack by Quang Nam in the dying moments of the match.

Trung passed all the Ninh Binh defenders and the goalie Nguyen Manh Dung as he freely netted the goal.

"Our home fans created a wonderful atmosphere on the stands, but there was immense pressure on my players who competed under the weight of high expectations in the first half," stated coach Bao of Quang Nam at the post-match briefing.

"However, when Vinh was on the field, he helped us to manage the match, while Ninh Binh fared poorly in the match. We have made a great comeback today," he declared.

"My defenders made mistakes in the second half, which resulted in our team conceding goals. In the upcoming weeks, we have to work together to avoid such problems," Coach Nguyen Van Sy of Ninh Binh noted.

In the next round on March 11, Ninh Binh will play current league leader Thanh Hoa, while Quang Nam will play former champions Becamex Binh Duong on March 16.

City draws with defending champs

HCM City's women's football team drew with defending champions Ha Noi 1 in the final match of the first leg of the National Women's Football Championships, as Phong Phu Ha Nam finished in the top position.

Captain midfielder Tran Thi Kim Hong opened the scoring for HCM City with a free kick, but substitute Pham Hai Yen put the game on equal terms just five minutes later with a close-range header.

Ha Noi 1 now has 11 points to rank second, while last year's runners-up, HCM City, has eight points and occupies third place. Ha Nam has 12 points and leads the first leg of the championships.

Ha Noi 1 displayed their intention of defeating HCM City to regain the top place by threatening the host team's goal immediately after the opening final with waves of attacks, and they could have been successful after only three minutes, except that captain Nguyen Thi Kim Tien's free kick hit the base of the post.

But hosts HCM City played with much determination and gradually turned the tide as the match became more aggressive with repeated battles for balls at midfield, which resulted in three early yellow cards for coach Dang Quoc Tuan's players.

HCM City were, in general, the better team for the whole of the first half. Coach Nguyen Huu Thang's team enjoyed more possessions, but their efforts were only enough to give Ha Noi defenders and goalkeeper Nguyen Thi Thuy Duong some hard work on the field, though the host team never appeared close to scoring.

Ha Noi started the second half on a better note and had more possessions. They also introduced top striker and national team's key member Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, but it was goal-scoring opportunities that the defending champions lacked. On the other side, HCM City were very well organised in defence.

After 15 minutes of defence, HCM City turned to playing an offensive game with Hong, another of the national team's key members, who was lively on the right wing. Ha Noi 1 remained under great pressure for long periods. Yet, HCM City's efforts were rewarded on the 81st minute with the opener, when Hong curled in a free kick that hit the underside of the bar and travelled into the net.

But the home team's joy for dozens of home fans was short-lived as substitute Yen headed in from a close range to level the match, after the ball fell to her following a mess in front of HCM City goal.

The two teams continued moving forwards in search of the winning goal, but there was no magic for either team as no players saw their names on the score sheet at the final whistle.

VN score sepak takraw win

Vietnamese women defeated Myanmar 2-0 in the qualifying round of International Sepak Takraw Federation Super Series Grand Finals currently being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In the second match, Myanmar beat South Korea 2-0. Viet Nam now needs to beat South Korea to maintain their top position in group B.

In group A, Thailand scored 2-0 victories over China and Indonesia. In group C, Japan beat India 2-1, while Malaysia beat Japan 2-0.

The first and second place position in each group will be decided in the next round.

Nam out of Chang Thailand

The No 6 seed Ly Hoang Nam of Viet Nam was ousted from the Chang Thailand ITF Juniors G1 Tournament on Thursday in Nonthaburi.

Nam was defeated by an unseeded Australian, Jake Delaney, 6-2, 7-6 (3) in the third round of the boys' singles event.

His challenge in the doubles event also came to an abrupt end.

Nam and his Indian partner Garvit Batra retired in the first set of their quarter-final round match against Bogdan Bobrov and Ondrej Krstev. They were leading 2-1.

The Vietnamese player will next participate in the 23rd Sarawak Chief Minister's Cup ITF Junior Tennis Championship (Grade 1) during Mar 11-16 in Malaysia, and the 25th Mitsubis

Source: VNS/VOV/VNA/Nhandan

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