Vietnam will settle for nothing less than a multiple-goal victory over Singapore tonight to guarantee a semifinal berth in the men’s football competition at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines.
The Vietnamese are currently on top of Group B with nine points, three clear of Indonesia and defending champions Thailand.
Last week, the junior Golden Dragons clinched two comprehensive wins over Laos and Brunei before pulling off a remarkable 2-1 comeback against Indonesia.
They will face underdogs Singapore in their fourth group-stage game at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila at 7:00 pm on Tuesday (Vietnam time).
The game will be broadcast live on national television channel VTV6.
The young Singaporeans stand almost no chance of progressing from the Group B after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Laos, and defeated 0-2 and 0-3 by Indonesia and Thailand, respectively.
Vietnam will need more than a win over the young Lions if they want to secure their berth in the semifinals.
As only the group leaders and runners-up will advance to the semifinals, Vietnam will need at least four points in their upcoming two matches against Singapore and Thailand, while widening the goal difference advantage over Thailand and Indonesia to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Therefore, the junior Golden Dragons will have to net as many goals as possible in tonight’s game.
|Vietnam U22s at a training session in Manila, the Philippines on December 2, 2019. Photo: N.K. / Tuoi Tre|
Meanwhile, the goalkeeping spot is something the Vietnamese side will have to be worried about.
In their 2-1 comeback against Indonesia on Sunday night, the only goal Vietnam conceded was due to a blunder by goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung.
Had it not been for Nguyen Hoang Duc’s shot from outside the box in injury time, Vietnam would have settled for a 1-1 draw with Indonesia.
The Vietnamese have been striving for a gold medal in men’s football since 1975.
The SEA Games are a biennial event governed by the Southeast Asian Games Federation under the supervision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia.
The first edition of the event was held in 1959.
It has since grown to be one of the region’s largest sporting events, hosting athletes from the 11 countries that make up Southeast Asia.
This year’s SEA Games, the event’s 30th installment, are hosted by the Philippines from November 30 to December 11, with athletes competing in 530 events across 56 sports.
Vietnam’s delegation to the 2019 SEA Games consists of 568 athletes competing in 43 sports.
Team Vietnam sets a target of winning at least 60 gold medals and ranking in the top three in the medal table.
Vietnam won 58 gold medals, 50 silvers, and 60 bronzes, placing third in the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia.