Vietnam managed to maintain their top group-stage position and have secured a spot in the semifinals of women’s football at the ongoing 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia although they lost 1-2 to the Philippines in their final Group A match on Tuesday afternoon.
Vietnam’s opponents in the semifinals will be hosts Cambodia.
The Philippines took an early lead in Tuesday’s game thanks to a penalty awarded in the 11th minute after Vietnamese goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh fouled a Philippine striker in the box.
Vietnam struggled to create scoring opportunities before finding an equalizer in the 41st minute, when goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel failed to catch a cross from defender Nguyen Thi My Anh and let Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy net on the rebound.
The equal first-half score seemed to take the pressure off the Vietnamese players in the second half, when they played with a dominant style and produced several dangerous attacks.
However, they failed to convert their scoring chances and ended up conceding an own goal in the 83rd minute as midfielder Sara Eggesvik’s cross into Vietnam’s box found Hali Long, who pressured Tran Thi Thu to head the ball into Kim Thanh’s net.
|Vietnamese (red) and Philippine players compete in their final Group A match at the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia, May 9, 2023. Photo: N.K. / Tuoi Tre
The 1-2 loss did not affect Vietnam’s leading spot in Group A and set them up for a semifinal showdown with hosts Cambodia at 4:00 pm on Friday.
The other semifinal match will see Group B winners Thailand challenge Myanmar on the same date.
The 2023 SEA Games is currently taking place in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, Siem Reap Province, Preah Sihanouk Province, Kampot Province, and Kep Province until May 17.
Vietnam sent a delegation of 1,003 members to the tournament, marking the biggest number in the country’s sporting history to be dispatched to a SEA Games edition.
The nation ranks second in the medal tally with 39 gold, 39 silver, and 52 bronze medals as of 11:30 am on Wednesday, lower than Thailand with 41 gold, 30 silver, and 50 bronze medals.
Host Cambodia is in third with 39 gold, 39 silver, and 45 bronze medals.