Vietnam U23 team repeat feat of unbeaten streak

By Xuan Binh   May 23, 2022 | 04:29 am PT
Vietnam U23 team repeat feat of unbeaten streak
Nguyen Tien Linh (L) celebrates the goal of his teammate Nham Manh Dung (R) in the SEA Games final with Thailand on May 22, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
The victory over Thailand in the SEA Games 31 final on Sunday helped the Vietnam U23 team repeat a feat of going 12 consecutive games unbeaten in official tournaments.

For coach Park Hang-seo, it was a repetition of the streak he had initiated with the U23 team after winning the previous SEA Games gold medal. The U23 team had gone 12 games unbeaten from March 2019 until January 2020, winning nine and drawing three while scoring 35 goals and conceding four.

After losing 1-2 to North Korea at the 2020 U23 Asian Cup, Vietnam started another unbeaten streak from October 2021 until the SEA Games final on May 22 this year. In this streak, Vietnam won 11, drew one and scored 19 goals without conceding any.

However, the two unbeaten streaks are still not a record in Southeast Asia. U23 Thailand went unbeaten for 19 games from 2003 to 2006, including 17 victories that helped them win the SEA Games gold in 2003 and 2005.

The unique record for the U23 Vietnam team is that they kept a clean sheet in all their 12 unbeaten games, a feat that no other U23 team in Southeast Asia have achieved. Vietnam also became the first team since 1979 to win the SEA Games gold medal without conceding a goal.

Vietnam will have a chance to extend their streak in the U23 Asian Cup next month, where they are placed in the same group as South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia. Gong Oh-kyun will replace Park as the coach of the U23 team in this tournament.

Vietnam's eight goals at the 31st SEA Games.

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