Viet Nam, Thailand oldtimers draw friendly

2005-09-06 00:00:00

The country"s "golden generation" drew their friendly 3-3 against Thailand in a match organised, by Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper, at HCM City"s Thong Nhat Stadium, to honour the veterans, last weekend.

The country"s "golden generation" drew their friendly 3-3 against Thailand in a match organised, by Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper, at HCM City"s Thong Nhat Stadium, to honour the veterans, last weekend.

The country"s "golden generation" drew their friendly 3-3 against Thailand in a match organised, by Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper, at HCM City"s Thong Nhat Stadium, to honour the veterans, last weekend.

The arch rivals of yesteryears, or more precisely 10 years ago, at the SEA Games and Tiger Cup, attracted around 25,000 fans for their farewell match. Thirty five players from that generation participated in the match to honour the most successful Vietnamese football team of the 1995-2000 period.

Former Thai national striker Natipong Sritongin opened the scoring in the 25th minute after catching the Vietnamese defenders napping.

He then created the second goal in the 42nd minute.

Early in the second half, Vietnamese striker Le Huynh Duc, showing flashes of his mesmeric skills, dribbled past three defenders to score his team"s reply. In the 53rd minute, defender Do Khai crossed for midfielder Nguyen Hong Son to head home and draw level.

Thailand went ahead again when, in the 59th minute, striker Thawatchai Damronggongtrakul scored. But super substitute striker Tran Minh Chien, who scored the first "golden goal" to help Viet Nam beat Myanmar 2-1 in the semi-finals of the 18th SEA Games 10 years ago, draw level again by beating goalkeeper Sarawut Khambua 14 minutes later.

The match helped to put the spotlight back on players who had contributed significantly in developing soccer both in Viet Nam and Thailand. "I feel very happy to score again, and play once more against a strong team from Thailand," said Nguyen Hong Son, who now coaches the U-15 football team of The Cong.

Thai striker Natipong was also happy to meet the old Vietnamese rivals of the 1995 SEA Games and the 1996 Tiger Cup. "I"m honoured and excited to play in this friendly. It has given me a chance to meet old Vietnamese players again. But I am amazed by the support given to us by Vietnamese fans." said Natipong.

During the event, the National Sports and Physical Training Committee honoured 13 Vietnamese players and coaches the "For the cause of Viet Nam Sports" medals for their contributions to the sport, and Kiatisuk Senamuang, who plays for V-League side Hoang Anh Gia Lai, for his contributions to football in Viet Nam.

The organising committee also donated a sum of VND 56 million (US$3,500), from auctioning a bronze shoe and a ball to a charity fund. The VND150 million raised from ticket sales will go towards helping 30 ex-footballers, who live in poor conditions.

 

(VNS)

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