A 1-1 draw with Myanmar on December 8 has put the Vietnamese women’s football team temporarily in second place of the first round at the 25th SEA Games, paving the way for them to enter the finals.
Vietnam's Kim Chi (1st, L) celebrates after scoring opening goal in Vietnam vs. Myanmar game on December 8. The game ended with a 1-1 draw. (Photo: SGGP)
With four points from two games, the squad is surpassed only by Thailand with seven points from three games so far.
Vietnam played defensively during the first half of the match, fending off a strong attack from Myanmar.
There were three opportunities for Vietnam to score in the game with Kim Chi had a goal chance from an offside position but failed to hammer the ball home, Le Thi Oanh went up against goalkeeper May Khin Yamin but couldn’t deliver; and Kim Hong carved out a scoring chance early on but the ball hit the goalpost.
Feeling the pressure to win points and progress to the final, Myanmar came on strong early on and tried to score but ultimately posed little danger to Vietnam’s goalkeeper Kieu Trinh.
The score at the end of the first half was 0-0.
Experienced player Minh Nguyet was replaced after break time.
Finally, at the 55th minute, Kim Chi scored an opener from outside the penalty box giving Vietnam the lead.
Myanmar came back determined and in Vietnam’s desperation to protect their lead, they conceded a penalty in the 76th minute when Moe Moe War equalized the score.
Despite suffering an injury to the head in the first half of the game, Kim Chi continued to play until the game ended. Her determination had a visible impact on her teammates, inspiring them to play strong until the end.
Viet Nam have two difficult matches remaining against defending champions Thailand on December 11 and hosts Laos on December 13. They need full points from the two matches to enter the final.
In the match against Laos on December 8, Thailand crushed their opponents 4-1.
Vietnam takes on Thailand at 3:45 pm on December 11 while Laos plays Malaysia the same day at 1:00 pm. Both matches will be played at Laos’ National University Stadium in Vientiane.
The five nation squads of Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam will play in a round-robin format. Then the top two teams will play the final
The opening ceremony of the 25th SEA Games will be held at the Laos National Stadium today December 9, and around 3,000 athletes from 11 countries will compete for 379 gold medals in 28 sports.
Football is a hot ticket item here. Tickets for the Group A matches between Thailand and Vietnam, and Malaysia versus East Timor on the opening day of football action on December 2 at the 20,000-capacity National Stadium were sold out.
The locals have packed the stands for Laos' two Group B games – against Myanmar and Indonesia.