Making news

PM honours Olympic Vietnam men’s football squad

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to honour the Olympic Vietnam men’s football team with a certificate of merit in recognition of their excellent performance at the Asian Games (ASIAD) 2018 which ended in Indonesia last week.

With a perfect record of three wins against Nepal, Pakistan and Japan, Vietnam topped Group D to reach the knock-out phase.

They beat Bahrain 1 – 0 in the round of 16 with a goal scored by striker Nguyen Cong Phuong in the 87th minute and then saw off Syria in the quarter-finals after extra-time to be the last remaining Southeast Asian team in the tournament.

They suffered a 1 – 3 defeat to the Republic of Korea in the semi-finals.

Though the team lost to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 3 – 4 in a tense penalty shootout after drawing 1 – 1 in official time in the bronze medal match, they have been lauded for finishing in the top four for the first time. Their performance was celebrated by fans and the players and coaches returned to a hero’s welcome on September 2.

Vietnam’s journey in the competition gives hope for the team to advance further at the continental level on the pitch.

ASIAD is the world’s second biggest multiple sports event after the Olympics. This year’s edition was held in Jakarta and Palembang of Indonesia from August 18 to September 2, drawing 16,000 competitors and officials from 45 countries and territories.

Vietnam sent 352 athletes to the ASIAD 2018. The country bagged a total of four gold, 16 silver and 18 bronze medals to finish 17th in the medal table.

The four golds were in pencak silat (men’s combat 70-75 kg and 90-95 kg), women’s long jump and women’s lightweight quadruple sculls.