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SEA Games: Vietnam advance to semi-finals as Group A winners

SEA Games: Vietnam advance to semi-finals as Group A winners

Vietnam pour constant pressure on the Timor Leste side during their last Group A match on Sunday. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)   

NDO – Vietnam comfortably beat Timor Leste 2-0 at Viet Tri Stadium in Phu Tho Province on the evening of May 15 to progress into the semi-finals of the 31st SEA Games men’s football event as the Group A winners.

Nguyen Van Tung and Ho Thanh Minh were on target in the second half as Park Hang-seo’s troops surpassed Indonesia to finish on top of the group with 10 points.

Indonesia’s 3-1 victory over Myanmar earlier on Sunday not only sent coach Shin Tae-yong’s side through to the last four, but also helped Vietnam book a semi-final place regardless of the result of their match against bottom-placed Timor Leste.

Given that fact, coach Park Hang-seo decided to rest some key players, including Nguyen Hoang Duc, Nguyen Tien Linh and Do Hung Dung, on the bench and gave the opportunity to the irregular ones.

Vietnam's Ho Thanh Minh (#19) in action during the match. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

With Timor Leste being the minnows, it came as little surprise as Vietnam promptly took control of the match right after the first whistle. The hosts threatened to score after 17 minutes with Van Tung’s attempts being parried by goalkeeper Junildo Pereira.

Vietnam created several more opportunities and came very close to the opener a few minutes before halftime as Van Tung’s header beat the Timor Leste goalie but was thwarted by the post.

After being denied twice in the first half, Van Tung eventually etched his name on the scoresheet in the 53rd minute by firing an unstoppable header from close range.

Vietnam doubled their advantage 12 minutes later thanks to a powerful header by Ho Thanh Minh from a left-wing cornerkick.

Ho Thanh Minh (#19) celebrates with teammates after adding a second goal for Vietnam. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

In the 82nd minute, Vietnam found the back of the net for the third time, but Ho Thanh Minh’s goal was disallowed due to offside.

As the Group A winners, Park Hang-seo’s troops will meet the runners-up of Group B in the semi-finals on May 19, while Indonesia will play the Group B winners for a place in the title match.

Tomorrow (May 16), the last matches of Group B will be underway at Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh Province, with Malaysia taking on Cambodia and Thailand playing Laos.


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