2013: Vietnam football in review

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Nhan Dan Online – The situation of Vietnam football in 2013 was that of a ‘colourful picture’. Home fans were happy with the success of the national U-19 men’s football team, but also felt disappointed at the failure of the national team at the 2015 Asian Cup qualification and the U-23 squad’s poor performance at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
1. U-19 Vietnam impress with stunning emergence

The national U-19 men’s football team, with most of its players coming from the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Arsenal JMG Academy, made a stunning appearance at the 2013 AFF U-19 Youth Championship, winning all their matches and only losing in the finals to Indonesia in a tense penalty shoot-out.

The team caused great surprise by demolishing Australia 5-1 in their last Group F qualifying match at Kuala Lumpur Stadium in Malaysia on October 7, to storm into the finals of the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship as group leaders.

2. Vietnam women on the brink of securing 2015 World Cup berth

The national women’s football team have fulfilled their 2013 target of making it through to the 2014 Asian Cup finals following their table-topping finish at the Group C qualification tournament held in Bahrain last May.

The team, led by Chinese manager Chen Yun Fat, earned nine points and scored 24 goals in their three consecutive group wins over Bahrain (8-0), Kyrgyzstan (12-0) and Hong Kong (4-0).

The final stage of the 2014 Asian Cup is scheduled to take place at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City from May 14-25. Vietnam is placed in Group A along with Japan, Australia and Jordan. At the tournament, Vietnam has set a target of ranking third in the group-stage competition and winning the play-off to qualify for the World Cup.

3. Arsenal FC visit Vietnam on their Asia Tour 2013

2013 marked a milestone for Vietnamese football as the country welcomed a world-famous football club, England’s Arsenal FC, for the first time in its history. The event drew huge attention, both from media and local fans.

In a friendly with the Vietnam national football team, Arsenal displayed their world-class talent by beating the hosts with a final score of 7-1.

4. Vietnam gives poor performance at 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers

2013 can be considered a forgettable period for Vietnamese football, as the men’s national football team displayed a disappointing performance at the 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers, losing all four matches. The team scored only twice and conceded 14 goals.

5. U-23 Vietnam go out early at 27th SEA Games

The 27th SEA Games in Myanmar witnessed the comprehensive failure of the national U-23 men’s football team as they bid farewell to their football campaign in the group-stage competition.

The team placed third in the Group A standings with six points, following wins over Brunei and Laos and losses to Singapore and Malaysia, failing to make the semifinal round.

6. V-League immersed in the ‘crisis storm’

The country’s top-tier league V-League faced a huge crisis in 2013, as for the first time in the last six years, it included fewer than 14 teams (just 12 teams). Despite avoiding relegation, some clubs such as Hanoi FC, Khatoco Khanh Hoa and Navibank Saigon, did not register for the League or were dissolved due to the financial burden.

Vicem Hai Phong, the relegated team in the 2012 season, purchased Khatoco Khanh Hoa’s 2013 V-League slot with the new name of XM Vicem Hai Phong.

7. XM Xuan Thanh Saigon withdraw from V-League 2013

XM Xuan Thanh Saigon surprisingly submitted their request to drop out of the 2013 V-League as the tournament had just two rounds left to play. The team’s withdrawal was made right after the Vietnam Football Federation had decided to dock them four points, saying that the team violated the regulations of Vietnam football.

As a result of their withdrawal, the Saigon team have been relegated to play in the Third Division Football Tournament next season.

8. Hanoi T&T crowned V-League champions

The capital’s football club took this year’s V-League title with one round left to play following their convincing performance earning 11 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses. As the V-League champions, Hanoi T&T will represent Vietnam to compete in the qualifying play-off next February against India’s Pune F.C for the 2014 AFC Champion League.

(Source: thethaovietnam.vn/ Translated by Nhan Dan Online )

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