|Vietnamese football players seen in a training shift in Singapore. They will play Indonesia in the bronze-medal match today at the National Stadium. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam will have to forget their sadness to focus on their bronze-medal match at the SEA Games in Singapore today.
The team had arrived in Singapore with high hopes of winning their first-ever title of the biennial competition. However, a 1-2 loss to Myanmar in the semi-final swept away their dream at the National Stadium on Saturday.
Many people cried, players and fans at the stadium and at home. On their Facebook accounts, strikers Mac Hong Quan, Vo Huy Toan, and Le Thanh Binh all said "sorry".
Viet Nam coach Toshiya Miura said his team should have wrapped the game up in spite of the penalty they conceded, which led to the team's 2-1 loss to Myanmar.
He noted that his team had enough quality to win the match outright, but the failure of his players to convert the chances they created cost the team in the end.
"We created chances after chances, but we just could not score. That is the failure of our strikers. But this is a problem not only with Viet Nam but also with the other teams in ASEAN," Miura was quoted as saying on aseanfootball.org.
"I have no problem with the penalty that we conceded because we showed that we have the quality to create a lot of chances. But when we don't convert them, then it is a problem. In this instance, I have to apologise to our fans for the loss today."
Viet Nam's rival in today's match is Indonesia who lost 0-5 to Thailand in the second semis.
In the history of Viet Nam-Indonesia meets, of the total nine matches played, Viet Nam has won only three and drew one, while losing five.
In their latest match, Viet Nam were defeated 0-2 in the semi-finals of the 2011 Games in Jakarta.
Quan who wasted many chances to score shared a status on a social media site: "It's my fault. Sorry! My teammates and our fans. I could not do it, but tomorrow, I will fight harder for Viet Nam."
Quan, who is from the Czech Republic and returned to play football in Viet Nam, said he will do his best for a win today and expressed his hope that the team would still receive strong support from home fans.
After a day tasting their sadness, the team went to the stadium for a closed-door training yesterday.
Indonesia also showed their determination for a medal.
Coach Aji Santoso gave his players nearly a day of rest, relaxing with a short practise session to recover their physique.
He said the strongest players will be selected to compete against Viet Nam.
Indonesia were banned from playing international football, including World Cup qualifiers, and local fans are livid. They are competing in the SEA Games as the tournament started just a day before the ban was announced.
The team, however, successfully won their berth in the semi-finals of this year's Games, after giving a persuasive performance with three wins and one loss in the group stage.
They tried a lot versus Thailand, but the defending champions were too strong for the Indonesians.
"We tried, but we were simply outclassed," said the Indonesian. "We seem to put ourselves under unnecessary pressure."
The third-place play-off will start at 1pm Ha Noi time, while the final will be about six hours later at the National Stadium.
All matches will be aired live on VTV6 channel. — VNS