Vietnam will face Indonesia in the men’s football semifinals at the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia on Saturday after drawing 1-1 against Thailand in their final group-stage game on Thursday.
Vietnam conceded an early goal but came back with an equalizer in Thursday’s game.
Achitpol Keereerom took advantage of Vietnamese defender Luong Duy Cuong’s slip and easily made it past keeper Doan Huy Hoang to score in the first three minutes of the match.
Thailand slowed their pace following the opening goal while Vietnam continued their offensive strike.
However, Vietnam struggled to find opportunities to net the ball.
Thailand led 1-0 at half-time.
Things started to look better for Vietnam once coach Philippe Troussier made changes in the second half.
The junior Golden Stars scored an equalizer in the 54th minute after persistent pressing.
A free kick led to a series of passes and shots, and Le Quoc Nhat Nam tapped the ball in the Thai net.
The goal boosted Vietnam’s morale, allowing them to create several scoring opportunities and dominate the game for the next 30 minutes.
Despite their efforts, they failed to find the back of the net a second time.
|Thai players (blue) celebrate their opening goal against Vietnam in their final group-stage game in men’s football at the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia, May 11, 2023. Photo: N.K. / Tuoi Tre|
The 1-1 draw put Vietnam in second place in Group B with 10 points.
Thailand also had 10 points, but topped the group due to having a higher goal difference.
The second-place finish set Vietnam up for a semifinal game on Saturday against Indonesia, who topped Group A.
Thailand will face Group A runners-up Myanmar on the same date.
The 2023 SEA Games takes 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 led the medal tally with 59 gold, 57 silver, and 72 bronze medals as of 12:00 pm on Friday, followed by host Cambodia with 56 gold, 44 silver, and 54 bronze medals.
Thailand is in third with 54 gold, 39 silver, and 58 bronze medals.
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