Vietnam defender loses AFC young player award to South Korean peer

By Dang Khoa   December 3, 2019 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnam defender loses AFC young player award to South Korean peer
Defender Doan Van Hau is a main player of Vietnam's football team at the 30th SEA Games. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Vietnamese defender Doan Van Hau has lost the Asian Football Federation's Youth Player of the Year award to South Korea’s Lee Kang-in.

The result was announced Monday at the 2019 AFC Annual Awards, organized in Hong Kong by the Asian Football Federation (AFC) to the year’s most outstanding athletes.

Lee Kang-in surpassed nominees Hau and Japanese Hiroki Abe of Barcelona B to win the award.

The attacking midfielder has been playing for Spain's Valencia CF since his debut in Copa del Rey football tournament in 2018.

The 18-year-old player's vital performances helped the South Korea national team in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup that was held in Poland. Even though his team lost 3-1 to Ukraine in the final, he pocketed the tournament's Golden Boot award.

Hau, Vietnam's only nominee for the award, has had a successful year. He was one of the two Vietnamese among five best U21 players at the Asian Cup. The former Hanoi FC member joined Dutch club SC Heerenveen in September 2019, becoming the second Vietnamese player to play in Europe after Nguyen Cong Phuong went to Belgium a few months earlier.

Hau is currently with Vietnam men's U22 team in the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines that hopes to bring home a gold medal.

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