Việt Nam aim to beat the Phillipines despite only needing a draw

May 08, 2023 - 07:36
Defending champion Việt Nam beat Myanmar 3-1, while the Philippines revived their hopes after edging Malaysia 1-0 on May 6 in Phnom Penh.

SEA Games

Việt Nam head to the last group round against the Philippines with determination, targeting a win on May 9. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam need a draw against the Philippines in their last group match on May 9 to qualify for the semi-finals of the 32nd SEA Games' women's football.

Defending champion Việt Nam beat Myanmar 3-1, while the Philippines revived their hopes after edging Malaysia 1-0 on May 6 in Phnom Penh.

Việt Nam are on top of the table with six points after two wins. The Philippines and Myanmar are second and third with three points, respectively. All three still have a chance to enter the knock-out stage.

Speaking to reporters in the post-match conference, coach Mai Đức Chung of Việt Nam thanked his players for their great efforts to beat arch-rivals Myanmar, opening the door to the last-four round.

"The players were determined and worked hard to overcome the tough rival, who beat the Philippines in the previous match," said Chung.

"We bring into play our solidarity and iron spirit in this game. My players have good physiques, and we are all good under the hot weather here."

The 71-year-old said he was not scared of the Philippines, who are Southeast Asian champions.

Despite one point needed, Chung still wants a win.

"Teams here are equal in level," he said. "We set the same target for all rivals. We want to win match by match."

"About the Philippines, I think they are not as strong as in the last Games. If my players maintain their peak and well apply our tactics, we will complete our task."

On the other side, coach Uki Tetsuro of Myanmar praised the Vietnamese team, particularly captain Huỳnh Như.

Captain Huỳnh Như of Việt Nam makes history by scoring goals in five SEA Games editions.

"Congratulates to Việt Nam, you are deserved to win," said the Japanese trainer. "The Vietnamese forwards really impressed me, especially player No 9 (Huỳnh Như). She is a sharp goal-hunter and uses good of Myanmar's mistakes in this match. I hope to see Việt Nam again in the final."

Như's opening goal for Việt Nam made her part of the tournament's history.

With her 65th goal for the national team, Như has scored goals in five SEA Games in 2013, 2017, 2019, 2022 and 2023.

In the other match of the group, Sarina Bolden came to the rescue with her goal in the sixth minute of added time as the Philippines bounced back from their opening-day defeat to beat Malaysia 1-0.

Coach Alen Stajcic was confident ahead of the clash with Việt Nam.

He said it was a difficult match, but his players did not give up.

The Australian tactician denied the problem of his forwards, who scored only one goal in two matches, saying every team had good and bad days.

The Philippines must beat Việt Nam in the last match to maintain their hope for the next round.

Sarina Bolden of the Philippines (No 7) scores the only goal in her team's 1-0 win over Malaysia. Photo of RADYO

Stajcic said Việt Nam are currently the best team in Southeast Asia and the defending champion. It would be difficult for his team, but anything can happen in football.

He emphasised that the Philippines beat Việt Nam 4-0 in their latest meet in the semi-finals of the AFF Cup last July, making them the tournament's champion.

He asked people not to look at goal statistics but wait for the final result. VNS