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Vietnam Wins Gold Medals in Men's and Women's Football at SEA Games

After a gold medal in men’s football last night, Vietnam ended the SEA Games 2021 with a historic medal haul and successfully defended our reign in both men’s and women’s football.

Even if you don’t follow national sports news, you probably have heard — quite literally, as people poured into local streets to đi bão — about Vietnam’s victory in the final of men’s football last night. On May 22 at Mỹ Đình Stadium in Hanoi, our U-23 men’s football team defeated Thailand 1-0 thanks to a header by forward Nhâm Mạnh Dũng at the 83’ mark.

This is the second time Vietnam has won the gold medal in men’s football during the SEA Games; the first was back in 2019 as part of the last SEA Games in the Philippines. However, this year’s tournament saw the best performance from the men's team as they won five games, tied one and had no losses while not letting opponents score any goal.

The win against Thailand was a particularly poignant farewell gift for the team’s South Korean coach, Park Hang-seo, who will stop coaching the U-23 team to focus fully on the national team. He will be replaced by his countryman, Coach Gong Oh-kyun, starting from the Asian U-23 Cup 2022.

Following the gold medal, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) announced it would give the team VND2 billion in bonuses, in addition to the VND100 million from the SEA Games organizers for the top team. After beating Malaysia in the semifinals, VFF already promised a VND1 billion as a bonus for the U-23 team, while a private donor awarded the footballers VND300 million.

These cash prizes so far have amounted to VND3.4 billion for this victory, though more might be coming in the near future.

It’s been a jubilant two days for football fans in Vietnam. On Saturday, May 21 at Cẩm Phả Stadium in Quảng Ninh Province, the women’s football team also triumphed against Thailand 1-0 to win the gold medal after Captain Huỳnh Như scored at the 59’ mark.

Như only amassed two goals during this SEA Games, but they were both crucial strikes that brought the team to victory. The other was in the semifinal match against Myanmar, which we also won 1-0. This is Vietnam’s third consecutive and 7th overall gold medal in women’s football in SEA Games history.

For their gold medal, VFF will award the team VND2 billion, while Quảng Ninh authorities said they will give the team VND1 billion. So far, by defeating the Philippines in the group stage, Myanmar in the semifinals, and Thailand in the finals, Vietnam’s women’s football team will stand to receive VND6.6 billion in bonuses from VFF, Quảng Ninh Province, and the private sector.

[Photo: Football fans in Hanoi đi bão to celebrate the men's football team's victory.]

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