|Victorious: Vietnamese captain Nguyen Van Quyet (left) overcomes a Lao player during their SEA Games' group round match. Viet Nam win 5-0. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut
NAY PYI TAW (VNS)— Viet Nam defeated Laos 5-0 to keep their semi-final hopes alive at the SEA Games' men's football competition yesterday.
Captain Nguyen Van Quyet pocketed a double, while Pham Van Hung and Mac Hong Quan scored one each.
The Vietnamese always have a slow start, and it was the same yesterday for the team who needed at least four points to ensure a semi-final berth.
Their strikers missed a number of goals before midfielder Hung opened the score at the 27th minute of the match. Hung set up an eye-catching free kick over the Laotian defence and into the net as keeper Somvang stretched his body, but failed to block the ball.
Two minutes later, captain Quyet received the ball from a left-wing pass to the box. Quyet made a solo performance, passing around two defenders before netting exactly to Somvang's high corner.
His second goal came at the 73rd minute from a header. The national team player broke an off-side trap to face Somvang and easily made it 3-0.
Vu Minh Tuan, who missed his chances in the first half, scored his second goal in Nay Pyi Taw at the 79th minute. His slow shoot touched a Lao defender and changed its direction to enter the net as Somvang only watched.
Oversea Vietnamese Mac Hong Quan also had his second goal, with an accurate kick three minutes before the end of the game.
Quan left all Lao defenders behind and face Somvang, giving him no chance to save his net with a shot to the left corner.
This was the third win in a row for Viet Nam over Laos.
In the other matches in Group A, Malaysia drew 1-1 with Singapore.
Singapore, which has eight points, is the first team of the group to enter the semi-final round.
The other berth will go to tomorrow's winner of the match between Viet Nam and Malaysia.
In women's football news, the Vietnamese women's team overcame hosts Myanmar 1-0 in Group A in Mandalay City.
Myanmar's Zin Mar Moe made her own goal at the 20th minute. It was also the only goal, although both sides tried to set up many attacks.
The defending champion, Viet Nam, with six points has taken the lead in the group.
In Wednesday's semi-final round, they will play Malaysia. The other semi will see Myanmar vs Thailand.
The Viet Nam Football Federation also made a strong push for the women's team, since they would receive a VND2 billion (US$95,000) bonus in case of winning the title. For the first time, the award is the same amount as the men's team has been offered. — VNS