| VIENTIANE (16 Dec 2009) – The Vietnam women’s football team wrested the gold medal from Thailand when they beat the defending champions 3-0 in the penalty shootouts at the Chao Anuvong Stadium this evening.
The score at the end of regulation and the ensuing extra-time was 0-0.
With the men’s team set to play Malaysia for the gold medal tomorrow at the Main Stadium, the victory for the women’s team meant that they are just a step away from completing the grand double in football at the SEA Games.
And this evening, both teams put up their best game to win the tie with Trant Kim Hong and Van Thi Thanh – easily the two shortests player in the team – attacking on either flanks.
But Thailand were a lot more determined this time round and played it tight at the back to prevent the early goal as had been the case when the two sides met earlier in the round-robin stage.
Kim Hong’s free kick on 23rd minute was easily blocked by Thai keeper Waraporn Boonsing while several minutes later a header from Le Thi Thiong failed miserably.
Thailand created their best chance in the first half but midfielder Pisamai Sornsai’s attempt met the side netting instead.
Vietnam went in harder after the break but a double chance from Doant Kim Chi failed to make a break through.
And with Thailand unable to make it count with a late rally from Sunisa Srangthaisong, the game was forced into extra-time as both teams failed to make edgeways in terms of changing the scoreline.
In the penalty shoot-out, Thailand could not have began on a worst note when Supaphon Kaeobaen totally ballooned her attempt.
And with Vietnam’s Kim Hong managing to convert her attempt, a second miss form Thailand’s Junpen Seesraum further gave the advantage to Vietnam when Thi Thanh successfully shot to the left of the Thai goal.
The score at the time was 2-0 to Vietnam.
The third consecutive miss from Thailand, this time off Nisa Romyen spelled the end of their campaign as Vietnam then wrapped it up with the winner from substitute Nguyen Kim Tien.
The win for Vietnam meant that they have successfully managed to wrest back the women’s crown they lost in 2007 following wins in 2001, 2003 and 2005.