International media praises Vietnam U22s’ historic SEA Games gold medal

Wednesday, 2019-12-11 06:57:24
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Vietnam U22s celebrate with coach Park Hang-seo after their historic victory.
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NDO – The regional media has praised coach Park Hang-seo’s side after the historic victory in the final of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games men's football on December 10, saying that this gold medal is fully deserved from what Vietnam U22s have performed at this year’s campaign.

>>> Coach Park Hang-seo: “The secret to winning the SEA Games is Vietnamese spirit”

>>> Vietnam beat Indonesia 3-0 to claim historic SEA Games gold medal

Tuesday evening went down in history for Vietnamese football as Vietnam U22s earned a convincing 3-0 victory over Indonesia U22s, thereby clinching the highest throne in SEA Games for the first time ever in 60 years. Immediately after the match, regional media simultaneously reported about the victory of Vietnam. In an article titled " Vietnam U22 3-0 Indonesia U22: Doan Van Hau scores a brace on the day, Vietnam rules ASEAN”, by writer Pyi Lie Kyaw of Live Sports Asia, affirmed that in defeating Indonesia 3-0, the Vietnam U22 team is fully deserving of the gold medal at the 30th SEA Games.

In the article, the author said, in the first half, Vietnam took the initiative to choose a defensive play, yielding ball possession to the opponents. Meanwhile, Indonesia U22s did not dare to push the squad too high due to concerns about Vietnam's quick counterattack situations. But in the end, Indonesia conceded first. “In the 39th minute, after a very good free-kick from Do Hung Dung from the left-wing, Doan Van Hau rebounded with a crucial header to defeat goalkeeper Nadeo. A formula that is not new but still shows the maximum effectiveness of coach Park Hang-seo’s students,” said Live Sports Asia.

“Entering the second half, the match was still as coach Park Hang Seo expected. Indonesia U22 held the ball a lot but did not create any remarkable opportunities. In contrast, the players on the Vietnam U22 side were very sharp in their counter-attacks,” excerpt from Live Sports Asia's post. This Singapore-based newspaper was impressed by the way Park's students played defence - counterattacks: “In the 59th minute, after such a counterattack, from Tien Linh's pass, Do Hung Dung came up from the second line and launched an extremely dangerous shot to double the gap for Vietnam U22s.”

“Although the gap was two goals, the players on the Vietnam U22s side were not subjective at any second. The formation and discipline in the defence of the white shirt team still looked extremely standard,” Live Sports Asia's pen praised Vietnam U22s. In such an impressive game, the third goal still came to Vietnam U22 very easily. “After a very dangerous free-kick from Nguyen Hoang Duc in the 72nd minute, goalkeeper Nadeo punched the ball indefinitely and again Doan Van Hau chose the correct position and find Indonesia U22s’ net of for the third time. Van Hau's brace ended all hopes of Indonesia U22s,” Live Sports Asia said, adding that after the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 championship title, Vietnamese football continues to climb to the top of Southeast Asia with the first gold medal in SEA Games football. "From now on, Vietnamese fans can forget the sadness of previous tournaments and be full of confidence that their team will go even further," Live Sports Asia commented.

After last night's final, the homepage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) also posted an article, which stated that Vietnam overtook the opponents to win their first SEA Games gold medal in the men's football. “Vietnam, runners-up seven times since 1959, started the stronger of the two and translated their dominance into the lead in the 40th minute with Van Hau rising high to head home a free-kick. Two-time gold medalists Indonesia battled hard for the equaliser but were dealt another blow in the 59th minute, as Vietnam captain Hung Dung beat custodian Nadeo Winata. Trailing by two goals, the writing was on the wall for Indonesia, and the gold was sealed in the 73rd minute with Van Hau slotting a rebound past Winata as the celebrations began on the streets of Vietnam,” AFC article wrote.

Despite his bleeding knee, Doan Van Hau still shone brightly with a brace in the final of the 30th SEA Games against Indonesia U22s.

Meanwhile, despite being disappointed after the defeat of their home team, Indonesian media also had to admit that Vietnam played better than their Indonesian counterparts. IndoSport said that both teams played very well from the beginning of the game, but "Tim Garuda" were unable to break the disciplinary defensive system of Park Hang-seo's students. The middle and defense lines of Vietnam really cause quite a lot of difficulties for U22 Indonesia, IndoSport said.

The Indonesian sports newspaper also praised the two wings of the Vietnamese team for stopping all their opponents' attacks: “Indonesia's mobility was soon muted by Vietnamese U22 players, because they have repeatedly blocked Indonesia U22 players, especially on the wings. This makes it more difficult for "Tim Garuda" to attack from the wing. Vietnam seems to understand very well the gameplay of Indonesia U22s.”

In addition, IndoSport also said that the early loss of star midfielder Evan Dimas in first half, due to an injury after collision with Van Hau, is also one of the causes for Indonesia’s defeat as they were unable to penetrate into Vietnam's closed defensive line. Without Dimas, they often had to attack from the wings, which was well anticipated by Vietnamese players. Additionally, dead ball situations were also Indonesia’s weaknesses.

Sharing the same opinion, BolaSport also said that the absence of Dimas in the midfield is part of the failure of Indonesia U22s. In addition, the newspaper also said that Vietnam did very well in two set piece situations, leading to the double by Van Hau.

Meanwhile, in Park’s home country in the Republic of Korea, the local media was also excited at the victory of the "Golden Stars". In a Korean article entitled "The Magic of Park Hang-seo helps Vietnam make history after 60 years", Yonhap news agency reported about the match, emphasising the role of Park in this historic victory: “Although Vietnam has won the AFF Suzuki Cup, it had never reached the pinnacle of men's football at the SEA Games. And Park, who just renewed his contract with the Vietnam Football Federation in November, put Vietnamese football in the SEA Games final after 10 years and won the gold medal.”

The historic SEA Games gold medal will be the premise for Park and his players to continue to step forward to further success for Vietnamese football.

Sharing the same viewpoint, Donga wrote: “Thanks to the magic of Park Hang-seo, Vietnam won the gold medal for the first time in 60 years of SEA Games history. The celebrations flooded the streets in many places in Vietnam, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.”

“This championship has brought more glory to Park by helping elevate Vietnamese football to become a true power in Southeast Asia. Since Park came to Vietnam in September 2017, football here has achieved many surprising successes, with fourth place at Asian Games 2018 and winning the AFF Suzuki Cup last year. Earlier this year, they also reached the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup in the UAE,” Donga said.

In addition to winning the first gold medal of the SEA Games in Vietnam's football history, Park’s side also shown impressive performance by winning the SEA Games championship title with an unbeaten record, with only one draw in the group stage with Thailand U22s. In addition, with the gold medal of Vietnamese women’s team earlier, this is also the first time Vietnam have acquired both gold medals in football in a SEA Games. In the immediate future, Park and his side will go on with important journeys, with the immediate one will be the AFC U23 Championship in Thailand early next year. Hopefully the previous successes will be a solid premise for the “Golden Stars” to continue to step forward to further victories in the future.

TRUNG HUNG - Photo: NDO/Minh Phu - From Manila, the Philippines