Game Takes Breath away, but Thais Take Trophy away

Millions of Vietnamese football fans got crazy about their beloved national squad’s performance in the Agribank Cup’s last match, in which the Viet Nam keeper’s errors gave the Thailand team two equalizing goals and the trophy.

My Dinh National Stadium is hot with Vietnamese fans and a red color (Photo: SGGP)

My Dinh National Stadium in Ha Noi witnessed the all-red-jersey home side’s fight for honor as they lost 0-3 to Thailand in the Southeast Asian Games’ final in the Philippines last December. The stadium also turned red with spectators wearing red clothes and waving Vietnamese red flags during the Agribank Cup match on Sunday.

Viet Nam advanced with two goals after the break but goalkeeper To Vinh Loi made two fatal mistakes that led to the loss of Viet Nam, and the Thais won the tournament with a 2-2 draw in the last match, because they scored one goal more than Viet Nam in all.

The Thais took the trophy together with US$40,000, leaving a great pity that why Viet Nam failed to defend their championship after netting twice.

Both teams played aggressively immediately after the kick-off, and it was surprised that the speed was high all the time, even after the red team doubled the gap.

Many breathtaking chances were created continually before defender Phung Van Nhien pushed the reds ahead of the blues with a free kick from his right flank. Thai goalie Kosin, who kept his net clean in the earlier two matches, failed to stop Nhien’s shot in the 56th minute.

Le Tan Tai (in red) fights for the ball with Thailand captain Thonglao

Till that time, Vietnamese fans consolidated their belief of a win for their beloved team in this fight for honor. The belief was doubled a few minutes later when striker Le Cong Vinh beat keeper Kosin with an unstoppable header from a cross by captain Nguyen Minh Phuong.

While the reds were seeking to attack rapidly, Thai playmaker Thonglao’s shot outside the box targeted right at Viet Nam goalie To Vinh Loi but the ball slipped through his hands into the net at the 69th minute.

The situation then changed too fast and dramatically. Just two minutes later, the Vietnamese keeper made another fatal mistake, letting the ball slip through his hands again after stopping a cross, and Tanabut did not miss the offered chance by putting the ball into the empty net.

The home side rushed and rushed to approach the opposite goal but they did not have enough time to change the score. A draw was enough for Thailand to win the round-robin tournament.

Viet Nam coach Alfred Riedl (L) shakes hands with Thailand coach Chanvit at My Dinh National Stadium (Photo: SGGP)

Viet Nam came second with US$20,000 after scoring five goals in their three matches. Thailand scored six in all.

In the earlier Sunday match, New Zealand’s Under-23 team defeated their Bahrain counterparts 1-0 to rank third in the tournament, pocketing US$10,000.

Agribank Cup results

Thailand - Bahrain: 3-0
Viet Nam - New Zealand: 1-0

New Zealand - Thailand: 0-1
Viet Nam vs. Bahrain: 2-0

Bahrain - New Zealand: 0-1
Viet Nam - Thailand: 2-2

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By Tuong Thuy

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