|Right winger Hồ Văn Cường celebrates scoring the second goal for Việt Nam. VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Linh|
PHNOM PENH — Việt Nam men's under-22 football team have won bronze medal at the 32nd SEA Games, beating Myanmar 3-1 in the third place match on Tuesday.
An early double from Hồ Văn Cường and a goal by Khuất Văn Khang secured Việt Nam their third consecutive podium finish, with Myanmar getting a late consolation.
Five changes were made by coach Philippe Troussier to the starting line-up compared to the semifinals against Indonesia, where Việt Nam lost 2-3.
Troussier's young men were heavily criticised by pundits after the last match for making multiple defensive mistakes, and Việt Nam, who wore an unusual white kit today, tried their best to learn from their faults.
Up front, the attackers seemed to have released their pent up frustrations. In the ninth minute, from a counter, Hồ Văn Cường sprinted all the way from Việt Nam's own half, and volleyed home Việt Nam's opener.
Cường got his second just twenty minutes later from a similar affair. Việt Nam's number 13 was found free after Myanmar lost possession right in front of the six-yard box, where he fired a screamer into Phyo Thu's top corner.
A lacklustre Lê Văn Đô and a newly-returned Nguyễn Quốc Việt were replaced by Vũ Tiến Long and Nguyễn Ngọc Thắng in the second half, but Việt Nam did not take their foot off the gas.
In the 57th minute, Võ Minh Trọng broke Myanmar's offside trap, and crossed inside for Khuất Văn Khang to fire home Việt Nam's third.
After conceding three times, Myanmar seemed to have given up and Việt Nam got total control of the game. Việt Nam had a handful of chances from counters, but Văn Khang and teammates could not capitalise.
The Chinthe got their consolation goal in the final minute, after Việt Nam let their guard down. A corner was pumped towards Đoàn Huy Hoàng, where he was forced to punch. The ball however, reached Aung Myo who headed easily in to the back of Việt Nam's net.
Việt Nam could have got their fourth in the second minute of added time, after Quốc Việt and Văn Cường had only Phyo Thu to beat but both their shots were too tame and the match finished 3-1 to Việt Nam.
Philippe Troussier's duty with the Việt Nam under-22s setup will not end, as the young Golden Star Warriors will compete in the 2023 Panda Cup friendly tournament in China, starting from June 14. — VNS