SEA Games 31: Vietnam defend women’s football champions
The Vietnamese women earn SEA Games gold medals for the third consecutive times.
Vietnam defeated Thailand 1-0 to win gold medals in SEA Games 31, the seven of its kind in Southeast Asia’s biggest sports tournament in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2017, 2019, and 2022.
|The Vietnamese women team with the victory on May 21. Photos: Thanh Nien|
Captain Huynh Nhu sent the ball to the net in the 59th minute after getting the pass from Duong Thi Van amid efforts from both sides at the match held on May 21 in Cam Pha City, Quang Ninh, east of Hanoi.
Vietnam began the match with continuous attacks under the order of Coach Mai Duc Chung, but Nguyen Thi Van, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung, and Huynh Nhu missed at least five clear chances to open the scores.
When Vietnam was slowing the pace to hold strengths for the remaining time, Thailand started to fight back but they made no clear phases.
|Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam (L) and Coach Mai Duc Chung at Cam Pha Stadium on May 21.|
Coach Mai Duc Chung said Vietnam’s win in SEA Games 31 is worth more than a gold medal.
“Vietnamese female players deserve this victory as they always give their best in every match, every tournament. Their efforts paid off by qualifying to win tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and then won SEA Games today,” he said in a post-match statement. This is the fifth SEA Games gold medal under the coach of Mai Duc Chung.
|Captain Huynh Nhu (C) scores the only goal in the semifinals and finals of the tournament.|
Captain Huynh Nhu said being a home team results in both advantage and pressure and they told themselves to try their best to gift supporters.
Vietnam encountered Thailand five times in the finals of the SEA Games and earned three wins. In SEA Games 30 in 2019, the Vietnamese team scored in extra time.
Notably, Vietnam women's football team won gold medals in both times Vietnam hosts SEA Games in 2003 and 2022.
After the victory, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue congratulated the team, commencing Coach Mai Duc Chung, Captain Huynh Nhu, and the whole team.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and former NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan supported the team at Cam Pha Stadium.
|The team on stage to get gold medals.|
The Vietnamese team will join a friendship match with the French team, the world’s third seed, in Orleans, France, on July 1.
On the same day, the Phillippines beat Myanmar for the bronze medal. After the match, the Philippine team ran around Cam Pha Stadium to say thank you to 16,000 supporters.
This is the Philippines’ first SEA Games medal.
So far, Vietnam and the Philippines are two candidates for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
|Cam Pha Stadium in full capacity.|
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