Sixty years is a long time for anything. But it was worth the wait for Vietnam when they finally landed the elusive gold medal in men’s football at the SEA Games 2019 when they overwhelmed Malaysia 3-0 in the final that was played at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
In 1959, South Vietnam had won the men’s football gold medal when it was known as the South East Asia Peninsular Games.
“First of all, we would like to thank the Vietnamese supporters, especially those who are here in the Philippines who cheered for the team in the final tonight,” said Lee Young-jin, Vietnam’s assistant coach.
“I would also want to thank the Vietnamese players who played very well in the 90 minutes. The players were in excellent form, which helped the team win the final and the gold medal.”
For Indonesia, it was a frustrating night as their dream to end their long 28-year wait for the gold medal would continue for another two years as they struggled to stamp their authority in the final.
They seemed a little out of sorts as Vietnam were quick to close down their offensive play and rarely allowed them the chance for a frontal assault.
And the loss of Evan Dimas to an injury, took the creativity out the squad which Vietnam capitalized on where in the 39th minute they took the lead with a freekick from Do Hung Dung that was headed into goal by Doan Van Hau.
Trailing by one goal at the break, Indonesia pushed forward in search of the equalizer but they fell further behind right at the hour mark when Hung Dung latched on to a cross from Ha Duc Chinh.
Vietnam then finished things off in the 73rd minute with Van Hau once again finding the target after Indonesian keeper Arga Winata failed to clear Duc Chinh’s freekick from the right.
But the fine night for Vietnam was marred somewhat at the end when Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo was red carded for incessant arguing.
In the meantime, Myanmar came in third in men’s football when they beat Cambodia 5-4 in the penalty shootout.
The score at the end of regulation was 2-2 with Myanmar’s goals off Aung Kaung Mann (9th minute) and Myat Kaung Mann (35th) being cancelled out by Cambodia’s Sieng Chanthea (1st) and Keo Sokpheng (71st).
In the penalty shootout, Sokpheng missed from the spot.