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Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

By Staff reporters   May 22, 2022 | 03:38 am PT
Vietnam were relentless in their pursuit of gold, winning all their games, including those against tough opponents Thailand and the Philippines, to become SEA Games women’s champs again.
Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

Vietnam entered SEA Games 31 as the defending champions, having won gold in the most two recent editions of the regional tournament in 2019 and 2017. In the first game, the team faced the Philippines, who have been on the rise recently thanks to their policy of importing players from countries like Germany and Japan.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

After Rivera Annis scored for the opponents in the 15th minute, Vietnam showed their great fighting spirit. Towards the end of the first half, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung (number 7) essayed a volley that equalized for the hosts.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

In the second half, Tran Thi Thuy Trang (number 15) completed the comeback for Vietnam after a great build-up play with captain Huynh Nhu.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

Vietnam (R) play against Cambodia in the last group game to secure the top spot.

Since Indonesia dropped out of women’s football, there were only three teams left in group A.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

Playing against a much weaker opponent, coach Mai Duc Chung decided to use the second team, who scored only one goal in the first half. However, as the opponents stamina started running on low, Vietnam stepped up with six goals in the second half to end the game with a dominant 7-0 scoreline.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

Entering the semifinals as the group topper, Vietnam (R) faced Myanmar. This was a tough game with the opponent knowing Vietnam’s approach very well.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

However, with a first half goal by Huynh Nhu (pictured), Vietnam controlled the game comfortably and kept their defense solid, neutralizing all threats from Myanmar to win 1-0 and advance to the final.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

The final was against a familiar, experienced arch rival – Thailand. The two teams had clashed in eight SEA Games finals, with Vietnam winning four of them.

Vietnam approached the game with caution, combining attack and defense to create several scoring chances that could not be converted.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

The second half saw Thailand push forward and Vietnam took advantage of this change to deploy counter-attacks. One of them brought Vietnam the breakthrough, with Duong Thi Van making an excellent through ball for Huynh Nhu (pictured) to collect. Nhu calmly dribbled past Thailand keeper and finished into the empty net.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

Nhu (L) didn’t score in the group stage, but the 30-year-old shone in the semifinal and final games with winning goals.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

Thailand tried hard to find the equalizer in the last 30 minutes, but they couldn’t fìnd a way past the Vietnam defense.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

After the final whistle, the players and fans were jubilant as Vietnam claimed the women’s football gold medal for third time in a row.

Indomitable: Vietnamese women’s journey to SEA Games football gold

The Vietnam women’s team pose with their gold medals after thanking fans at the Cam Pha Stadium in Quang Ninh.

 
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