SEA Games: Sixth time lucky for Vietnam as they finally win men's football gold medal

Vietnam players celebrate after a goal by Van Hau Doan (left) during the men's final against Indonesia in Manila on Dec 10, 2019. PHOTO: AP

MANILA - After losing five SEA Games football finals - 1995, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2009 - Vietnam finally ended that unwanted record with a 3-0 win over Indonesia at Manila's Rizal Memorial Stadium on Tuesday (Dec 10) .

The Golden Dragons, who went into the gold-medal match as firm favourites, were rarely tested. Star man Doan Van Hau, who plays in the top Dutch division, opened the scoring after 39 minutes, latching on to a Do Hung Dung free kick from the edge of the box for a close-range header.

Vietnam made it 2-0 in the 59th minute after a scuffed Indonesia clearance fell to Do, who buried his shot from the edge of the box.

Doan scored his second and his team's third when Indonesia goalkeeper Winata Nadeo flapped at a wide free kick from Nguyen Hoang Duc straight into the path of the SC Heerenveen defender, who slotted home from near the left hand post on 70 minutes. The 19-year-old celebrated by unfurling a Vietnam scarf in front of fans.

Shortly after, Vietnam's South Korean coach Park Hang-seo was shown a red card for his reaction to a refereeing decision, although it was unclear what he said.

However, after the final whistle was blown, he returned to the pitch to celebrate with his players, who threw him into the air and sprayed him with water.

Vietnam, who played the final in white, are currently ranked 94th in the Fifa world rankings, while Indonesia, who played in red, are 173rd.

Both teams had met in the earlier group stage with Vietnam winning that match 2-1.

While Vietnam have won the gold six times in the women's competition, including this year with a 1-0 win over Thailand on Sunday (Dec 8), their men's team have fallen at the final hurdle at the SEA Games.

South Vietnam did win the inaugural football title at the 1959 SEAP Games in Bangkok.

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