Vietnam have been off to a good start in their campaign to change the men’s football medal color at the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, beating Timor Leste 4-0 in the opener in Malaysia on Tuesday.
Defender Doan Van Hau scored twice and provided an assist leading to goal for Duc Chinh, before star striker Cong Phuong settled the game.
The victory came as no surprise as Vietnam are considered having the upper hand; The Golden Stars also beat Timor Leste 4-0 during their qualification game for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championships on July 19.
With the easily-earned first three points, Vietnam are in high spirits as they look to win the tournament this year.
|Vietnam's Cong Phuong controls the ball during the game against Timor Leste in Malaysia, August 15, 2017.|
The Vietnamese have made it to the final game of the SEA Games men’s football tournament five times in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2009 but never won. At the most recent Games in 2015, they won bronze.
The men’s football competition, a Under-22 tournament, consists of 11 teams in two groups. Vietnam are in Group B with Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and the Philippines. Hosts Malaysia share Group A with Myanmar, Singapore, Laos and Brunei.
In the other Group B opener on Tuesday, Thailand and Indonesia drew 1-1.
The men’s football tournament usually starts a few days ahead of the opening ceremony of the region’s biggest sporting competition.
The Games this year are being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19 to 30, with 404 events in 38 different sports.