Hà Nội T&T’s goalkeeper Dương Dồng Sơn comes to say goodbye with fans after his farewarell match between T&T and Việt Nam. — Photo bongdaplus.vn
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam national football team tied with V.League side Hà Nội T&T in a friendly match in Hà Nội yesterday.
The match was a test for Vietnamese players ahead of their World Cup qualifiers later this month.
Việt Nam, under coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng, have trained together for a week. They tried to follow counter-attack tactics using short, rapid balls.
But the short time did not allow them to triumph.
Hà Nội T&T made their first threat when Samson chested the ball in front of the box, but his strong shot hit the bar at the 34th minute.
Three minutes later Việt Nam midfielder Lương Xuân Trường sent a smart ball to forward Nguyễn Văn Toàn, but the little squirrel headed over the bar.
Former PSG striker Loris Arnaud of T&T stole the ball from some chaos in the box, but his kick failed to pass the national defenders.
Samson heeled to Nguyễn Văn Quyết, who was free to shoot to a wide open net at the 66th mark, but it somehow found goalkeeper Nguyễn Nguyên Mạnh.
Việt Nam’s best chance came near the end when Hoàng Đình Tùng broke into T&T’s area and made a strong kick, but it went wide.
Another friendly for the national team will be played on Saturday against Quảng Ninh Coal, another V.League team.
In yesterday’s match, T&T made it a farewell for players who had contributed much to the team – goalie Dương Hồng Sơn, striker Thạch Bảo Khanh, and midfielders Lê Hồng Minh and Nguyễn Tiến Dũng.
Sơn announced his retirement recently, while the rest retired several years ago.
It was the first time such an activity was organised to honour players in Việt Nam.
“This should have been done a long time ago," said coach Thắng. "I do not mean to compare, but in other countries they organise these farewell matches where we can see moving moments with smiles and tears of happiness. Players and their families feel pride when their contributions are widely recognised."
Keeper Sơn, who started the game with the captain band, said he was happy to be one of the first players to receive the honour.
“It is a surprise and I am really satisfied with this attitude. Thank you all for what you have done for me. Matches like this are for deserved players,” said Sơn ,who received the Golden Ball statue in 2008 for being the best player of the year. —VNS