Viet Nam Lose 2 Goals to Brazil in Pre-Olympic Friendly, but Pleased

Viet Nam’s national men football team lost 2-0 to Brazil in a friendly match in Ha Noi yesterday, which is meant as warm-up for the Olympic Games to be hosted in China this month.

Ronaldinho (L) and Phan Van Tai Em of Viet Nam

Alexandre Pato scored the first goal in the sixth minute in the fully packed 40,000-seat My Dinh stadium where Viet Nam's President Nguyen Minh Triet and top sport officials attended.

But Pato’s second attempt to score in the 46th minute was thwarted by Brazilian-born goalkeeper Fabio Dos Santos who has been naturalized as a Vietnamese citizen.

The host nearly equalized just after half-time, when striker Nguyen Viet Thang kicked the ball which was deflected by keeper Diego Alves, and again when Nguyen Minh Duc hit the goal post.

In the 81st minute, Thiago Neves, voted the best player in the Brazilian league last year, scored the second goal.

Two minutes later, Brazil’s Jo attempted another score but the goal was disqualified since a Vietnamese player was pushed.

After the match, two-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho is reported to say the Vietnamese team had a good performance.

According to Brazilian coach Carlos Dunga, Viet Nam played well and made surprises and if it maintained such form, it would cause difficulties to Brazil in the coming years.

“We would like to thank Vietnamese fans and the hosts for giving us a warm welcome and good preparation”, he said.

Despite the loss, Vietnamese team’s coach Henrique Calisto is happy at the score. He said he is pleased with his players, especially in the first 25 minutes of the second half when his students missed two scoring chances.

The Brazilian Olympic team flew in Ha Noi from another friendly in Singapore this week before traveling on to Beijing where the Olympic tournament begins August 6, with the final on August 23.

Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times - but they have come up short at the Olympics, finishing with a silver medal in the 1984 and 1988 Games, and bronze in 1996.

In related sport news, Viet Nam’s 53-member Olympic team the same day left for the Beijing Olympics.

Headed by Hoang Vinh Giang, Deputy President and General Secretary of the Viet Nam Olympics Committee, the athletes will compete in nine events: taekwondo, weightlifting, badminton, table tennis, gymnastics, shooting, track-and-field and wushu.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Gia Khiem who saw the team off urged the sportsmen to try their best to obtain high records, show friendship, solidarity, and to contribute to the traditional friendship between Viet Nam and China.

By Staff Writers – Translated by BH

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