A defender of the Vietnamese national women’s football team has been admitted to a hospital in Manila over exhaustion after a brave finale against Thailand at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on Sunday.
The Vietnamese women beat their Thai rivals 1-0 in extra time to win the sixth gold medal since 2001.
But they had fought with blood, sweat and tears against the Thais with a stronger physique in 120 minutes.
Many of the Vietnamese players suffered injury or a cramp during and after the gold-medal match.
Defender Chuong Thi Kieu sustained a large scratch on the back of her thigh but she still stood up and played with bandages wrapped around her left knee and thigh.
|Vietnam's Chuong Thi Kieu receives medical care during their finale against Thailand of women's football at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines, December 8, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
|Vietnam's Chuong Thi Kieu plays with bandages around her leg during their finale against Thailand of women's football at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines, December 8, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Skipper Cu Thi Huynh Nhu could not even walk to the podium to receive her gold medal, as the muscles in both her legs contracted badly.
However, defender Tran Thi Hong Nhung seemed to suffer the most.
Nhung and her defensive teammates refused to back down from the more muscular Thai attackers during 90 minutes of regulation time and another 30 minutes of extra time to keep a clean sheet.
As a result, the courageous woman fainted after the match and was hospitalized in Manila over extreme fatigue following too much physical activity.
She started recovering on Monday afternoon, able to eat some soup and still having an IV.
The deputy chairman of the Vietnam Football Federation, Tran Quoc Tuan, visited Nhung at the hospital on Monday afternoon.
She wants to return to her hotel to celebrate the victory with her teammates, Nhung said.
But hospital doctors direct that Nhung stay for further care.
The Vietnamese national women’s football will go shopping at the biggest mall in Manila on Tuesday afternoon before coming to Rizal Memorial Stadium in the Filipino capital to cheer on their male counterparts to take on Indonesia in the gold-medal game of men’s football.
The 2019 SEA Games are the 30th edition of the biennial multi-sport event, hosted by the Philippines this year.
Vietnam have struck gold in SEA Games women’s football in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2017, and 2019 but they have been seeking for a gold medal in men’s football for the past 60 years.