The chance for a berth in the semifinals was open to four teams Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia in Group A before Friday’s fixtures.
Just three minutes after the game began, a moment of distraction put Vietnam’s defense in danger as Lwin Moe Aung ran up to face goalkeeper Nguyen Van Toan, who was able to save the shot.
Vietnam started pushing forward, but their crossing strategy did not work.
The Golden Stars struggled to find Myanmar’s net despite creating many chances in the remainder of the first half while the visitors maintained the pressure and even had a few dangerous counter-attacks.
|Vietnamese (red jersey) and Myanmarese players vie for the ball during their Group A game in men’s football at the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at Viet Tri Stadium in Phu Tho Province, Vietnam, May 13, 2022. Photo: Nguyen Khoi / Tuoi Tre
The hosts tried various attack plans after the restart but it was not until the 75th minute that Vietnamese players were able to score a breakthrough goal.
Le Van Do ran down the right flank and made a pass to captain Do Hung Dung, whose clinical finish stunned both Myanmarese goalkeeper Pyae Phyo Thu and two other defenders.
The heavy rain at Viet Tri Stadium in northern Phu Tho Province made it tougher for both sides.
The score remained 1-0 until the final whistle.
The victory saw Vietnam ascend to the top of Group A with seven points while Myanmar fell to third place with six points, preceded by Indonesia with six points after overwhelming the Philippines 4-0 in another fixture earlier on Friday.
Vietnam had beaten Indonesia 3-0 on May 6 and drawn 0-0 against the Philippines on May 8.
The Vietnamese will face Timor Leste on Sunday night.
|Vietnamese midfielder Do Hung Dung celebrates his goal during a Group A game against Myanmar in men’s football at the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at Viet Tri Stadium in Phu Tho Province, Vietnam, May 13, 2022. Photo: Nguyen Khoi / Tuoi Tre
The men’s football event at the 31st SEA Games features two groups, with the five aforementioned teams making up Group A while Group B includes Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.
The top two teams in each group will play in the semifinals.
The 31st SEA Games, which boast 526 categories in 40 sports, are currently taking place in Hanoi and 11 neighboring provinces and cities and will run until May 23.
The biennial event was originally scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 2, 2021 but was postponed after Vietnam saw a flare-up of COVID-19 cases in late April the same year.
Over 7,878 athletes, coaches, and members of 11 sports delegations in Southeast Asia have registered for the event.