Vietnam’s Le Thanh Binh celebrates scoring his team's first goal. Photo: SINGSOC/Action Images via Reuters
Vietnam triumphed over Brunei with a 6-0 victory in the opening football game of the 28th Southeast Asian Games held at Bishan Stadium on Friday, May 29.
Key Vietnamese players Nguyen Cong Phuong and Man Hong Quan were not fielded in the starting eleven.
The only goal in the first half came from Le Thanh Binh in the 24th minute. An early goal in the second half by Tran Phi Son unsettled Brunei before Man Hong Quan came off the bench and opened the floodgate in the 75th minute, with goals following from Pham Duc Huy and Nguyen Cong Phuong within the next seven minutes. Vietnam Captain Pham Manh Hung scored at the 89th minute before the full-time whistle.
Vietnam Coach Toshiya Miura was happy with his team’s performance, highlighting hard work as the key factor to their team’s dominance on the pitch. “If the score is 3-0, 4-0, they don’t stop,” remarked Miura.
Thailand's Chanin Sae-ear in action with Laos' Souk Aphone Vongchiengkham (L) Photo: SINGSOC/Action Images via Reuters
Brunei Coach Stephan Ng admitted that the difference in experience played a factor in their defeat. “The Vietnamese are much more exposed, as compared to my players,” said Ng, who was a former Singapore international goalkeeper in the 1990s.
Brunei will take on Laos on Sunday, while Vietnam is expected to meet tougher challenges from Malaysia on Tuesday, June 2. Vietnam won Malaysia 2-1 in their last meeting at the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship qualification on March 27.
Catch photo highlights from the first day of the games here.