| VIENTIANE (18 Dec 2009) – They have travelled for thousands of miles in the hope of seeing Vietnam lift their first ever men’s football gold medal but to lose it by a solitary goal and then off an own goal was just a tad too much for the thousands of loyalists.
And that included Vietnam Football Federation president Nquyen Trong Thy, who was in his best colour last night in the hope that the day would end in a sea of red.
But instead, it was the Malaysians who savoured the glitter of gold as they picked up their fifth crown in the history of the SEA Games against overwhelming odds.
“We played well and hard and I have to praise the spirit of the Vietnamese players during the game,” said Trong Hy.
“We were unlucky during this match, we attacked many times against Malaysia.”
Vietnam have been making the final of men’s football for every edition since 2003 when the country played hosts to the biennial championship for the first time.
But at every turn in 2003, 2005 (Philippines) and 2007 (Thailand), they have been denied by a rampant Thai side, who have won the crown for the most number of times – 13 – including joint champions with Burma in 1965.
And this time round with Thailand well out of the way, courtesy of their loss to Malaysia which saw their exit in the group stage earlier, there were expectations that Vietnam would win their first gold medal in the event.
But that is not to be.
Group A: Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Cambodia
Group B: Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia
2 Dec (Main Stadium): MALAYSIA 11 TIMOR LESTE 0/ THAILAND 1 VIETNAM 1
4 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): THAILAND 4 CAMBODIA 0/ VIETNAM 4 TIMOR LESTE 0
5 Dec (Main Stadium): SINGAPORE 2 INDONESIA 2/ LAOS 1 MYANMAR 1
6 Dec (Main Stadium): VIETNAM 3 MALAYSIA 1/ TIMOR LESTE CAMBODIA
7 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): MYANMAR 1 SINGAPORE 2/ INDONESIA 0 LAOS 2
8 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): TIMOR LESTE 0 THAILAND 9/ CAMBODIA 0 MALAYSIA 4
10 Dec (Main Stadium): MYANMAR 3 INDONESIA 1/ LAOS 0 SINGAPORE 0
11 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): CAMBODIA 1 VIETNAM 6/ MALAYSIA 2 THAILAND 1
THIRD/ FOURTH PLACING (Chao Anu Vong Stadium)
FINAL (1700hrs at Main Stadium)
1. VIETNAM 10pts (+11)
2. MALAYSIA 9pts ( +14)
3. THAILAND 7pts (+12)
4. CAMBODIA 3pts (-10)
5. TIMOR LESTE 0pt (-27)
1. LAOS 5pts (+2)
2. SINGAPORE 5pts (+1)
3. MYANMAR 4pt (+1)
4. INDONESIA 1pt (-4)