Vietnam’s U23 football team was able to summon up their strength to put the disappointing semi-final loss behind them and put in a strong performance to completely outclass Indonesia with an emphatic 5-0 in the bronze medal match at the 28th SEA Games on June 15.

The win helped the Vietnamese football team secure a medal for the first time since 2009, giving fans a sense of optimism about the future prospects of the country’s team.

Despite failing to reach the final, what Vietnam’s U23 football team displayed at the SEA Games this year showed Vietnam is still one of the best teams in the region.

After the unexpected loss in the semi-finals, mostly caused by strikers’ failure to take good goal-scoring chances, Vietnamese players entered the game with a clear intention of winning.

They moved right after the opening whistle and quickly put Indonesia on the back foot.

After missing two chances in the first 10 minutes, Vietnam went ahead after Indonesian Hansamu Yama used his hands to block winger Vo Huy Toan’s shot and the referee awarded Vietnam a penalty.

Striker Mac Hong Quan stepped up and made no mistake in sending goalkeeper Amiruddin Teguh in the wrong way to put Vietnam ahead in the 13th minute.

Nguyen Cong Phuong and Toan both failed to convert Nguyen Thanh Hien’s inviting right-wing cross later but chances kept coming and Vietnam did not allow them to slip out of their hands.

In the 21st minute, Phuong’s clever pass opened up Toan who received the ball with a touch that pushed it further forwards and then latched the ball into the low far corner with his left foot to double the advantage.

Vietnam slowed the match in the next ten minutes and Indonesia was able to produce a number of threats to keeper Phi Minh Long. Though they had a chance to narrow the scoring gap in the 39th minute, Syaifulloh Muchlis Hadi Ning only rattled the side of the net.

Two minutes later, in a similar position from his previous goal, Toan lashed in a wonderful goal from 20 metres out with his magic left foot, expanding the score to 3-0.

Just before the break, defender Nguyen Huu Dung brought the score to 4-0 with a close-range shot in the injury period.

Vietnam added its final goal in the 71st minute through Captain Que Ngoc Hai, who deflected the ball in from Hung’s shot to make it 5-0.

During the rest of the match, Indonesia sought a consolation goal but never came close, with the exception of the 79th minute and once again it was Syaifulloh Muchlis who failed to beat Long on a head-to-head situation.-VNA