The deadlock was broken right on the stroke of halftime when a Pham Tuan Tai delivery found Tran Bao Toan, who proceeded to send a looping header creeping in under the bar and beyond a hapless Narongsak Nueangwonsa.
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With the Thais unable to find an equaliser despite their best efforts in the second half, it was Vietnam who would go on the be crowned champions and condemn their opponents to a second consecutive runners-up finish.
The Vietnamese's achievement was all the more impressive given they entered the competition with one eye on the future and only boasted one player above the age of 21 in their squad.
Nonetheless, Thailand deserve similar credit for reaching the final with a team entirely made up of under-19 players as they too looked to blood some younger talent.
In Saturday's third-place playoff, it was decided that Timor-Leste and Laos would share the bronze medal after the game was called up, following the latter's inability to field sufficient players after being hit by a spate of positive COVID-19 cases in the build-up to kickoff.