Vietnam U22s on the brink of making history

Tuesday, 2019-12-10 10:17:53
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Vietnam forward Nguyen Tien Linh (in red) in action with Indonesian players during their encounter in the group stage on December 1. (Photo: VFF)
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NDO – History is waiting for Park Hang-seo and his Vietnam U22s team at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, the Philippines, tonight (December 10) as they are only one win away from their historic men’s football gold medal at the SEA Games arena.

With both having scored 17 goals and conceded only four, Vietnam and Indonesia are the most deserved teams to qualify for the 2019 SEA Games title match.

Indonesia coach Indra Sjafri even admitted, after their defeat against Vietnam in the group state, that he constantly held that he would lead Indonesia to resume a meeting with Park’s troops in the final.

Sjafri’s wish has come true, as Indonesia U22s will take the field against Vietnam U22s for the second time in the 30th SEA Games, but of course the coming clash holds much greater significance, with the glory waiting for either of them to claim.

After ten years, Vietnam have returned to the SEA Games title decider. In their most recent final, in 2009, the Vietnamese team, coached by Henrique Calisto, fell on the doorstep of heaven, losing against Malaysia with a score of 0-1 due to a personal mistake in last minutes.

This time, by beating Cambodia 4-0 in the semifinal, Vietnam U22s have maintained an impressive unbeaten run (five wins, one draw) and are standing a great chance to grab the SEA Games men’s football gold medal for the first time in history.

However, in order to realise that burning dream, Park Hang-seo’s troops will have to address the challenge posed by Indonesia who are also aspiring to lift their first title in 28 years at the region’s largest sporting event.

Indonesia were forced to concede a bitter 1-2 loss against Vietnam in the group stage. After that defeat, Indonesia coach Indra Sjafri declared that Indonesia temporarily owed Vietnam a debt and would wait for Vietnam in the final clash to repay it.

Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo has emphasised their determination to return home with the SEA Games gold medal.

Meanwhile, despite his calm, Park Hang-seo also shared his dream of joining his players to return home with the gold medal.

Park said from the stands, he had seen Vietnam’s women’s team fight bravely to beat Thailand 1-0 to defend their SEA Games title after 120 minutes with the typical Vietnamese spirit of never giving up, and hopes that his players will also display that immortal spiritual strength against Indonesia U22s to make history.

Concerning the starting Vietnam squad tonight, in addition to injured Quang Hai, Vietnam U22s will head into the match with the best players at present. Millions of home fans are standing behind Park’s troops to give them power, and there is a strong belief that the Vietnamese warriors will conquer the Indonesia challenge to bring home the historic men’s football gold medal for the country from the SEA Games arena.

VAN TOAN