December, 11 2013 08:34:00

Singapore defeat Viet Nam to top Group A

Fighting spirit: Viet Nam's Nguyen Van Quyet (left) tries to escape from a Singapore player during their Group A match at the SEA Games. Singapore won 1-0. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhu

HA NOI (VNS)— Singapore defeated Viet Nam 1-0 in the second round match of the SEA Games' Group A yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

Mohammad Sahil Suhaimi scored the only goal of the game at the first minute of added time in the first half.

Singapore received a left-wing corner kick, which went into the centre of the box.

Viet Nam's defender, Sam Minh Duc, became confused while trying to kick the ball away. He then gave the ball to Suhaimi whose shot touched defender Pham Manh Hung and changed the direction of the ball. Goal keeper Tran Buu Ngoc could do nothing as he watched the ball entering the net.

The only threatening chance to the team was converted to a goal. Meanwhile, Viet Nam, which established their domination from the start of the match, failed to find Singapore's net.

Le Van Thang, Ha Minh Tuan and Vu Minh Tuan alternatively created attacks and tested keeper Izwan Mahbud's skills during the match's first 10 minutes and continued to make the Singaporean defenders work hard throughout the match.

Coach Hoang Van Phuc of Viet Nam made all three changes in the second half, but the substitutes did not fare better.

Singapore's simple defence style worked effectively, stopping all Vietnamese attempts to score.

"The Vietnamese played better, but made serious mistakes, leading to about eight faults, including three corner kicks near the penalty area. One of them was converted to a goal," said Nguyen Sy Hien, chairman of the National Coach Council, in an interview on VTV2 channel.

"With their power and domination, they should push up the team and make rapid attacks. It would be more effective and may bring them a goal," said Hien.

It was the seventh meet between the two sides. Yesterday's loss was the fourth for the Vietnamese.

Coach Phuc, however, remained easygoing during the post-match press briefing.

"We started the match very well and in the first 25 minutes we created a number of threatening opportunities, but failed to score a goal," he said.

"In the second quarter of the match, the midfielders did not complete their task, causing many mistakes which led to a goal for Singapore."

But the 49-year-old coach believes Viet Nam still has a chance to enter the semi-final round, because there are two matches to be played to score points, though all teams in Group A could also advance.

Meanwhile, coach Aide Iskandar of Singapore did not think his team's victory was a matter of luck. He said there was only winning or loosing in football.

According to the former national team player, Viet Nam was a favorite for the title this year, but Singapore played well enough to earn three points.

The victory pushes Singapore to the top place in Group A with four points. Viet Nam is now in second with three points.

Viet Nam will have five days to prepare for their next match against Laos. While Singapore will play Brunei, who yesterday lost 0-2 to the defending champion Malaysia. — VNS

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