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25th SEA Games football crown goes to Malaysia

Thursday, December 17, 2009 , Posted by samakomlao at 5:11 PM

Malaysia were crowned SEA Games champions in the men?s football final last night after a lucky 1-0 victory over Vietnam to win the gold medal at the National Stadium.
The teams fought hard through both halves but the score remained 0-0 until Vo Hoang Quang of Vietnam accidentally rebounded a defensive shot to score an own goal and clinch the victory for Malaysia in the final minutes of standard time.

Vietnam came close to drawing level in injury time, but Malaysia held them off to take the coveted title in a gripping close to the tournament that saw Malaysian fans erupt in celebration, while the legions of Vietnamese supporters who travelled to Vientiane for the occasion had to settle for silver. ?We deserve to be the champions, even though in the first half the Vietnamese team played better,? said Malaysian Team Coach K.Raja Gobal.

He said the Malaysian side benefited from breaks in the fast paced game after the Vietnamese goal keeper was injured, and play had to be halted several times during the course of the match.
?All of my players did well, especially Kandasamy Gurusamy Govanda, our midfielder who is just 20 years old,? he said, adding that Malaysia were the better team in the second half.

President of the Vietnamese Football Federation Nquyen Troag Thy said his team had played well and hard, and praised the spirit of the Vietnamese players during the game. ?We were unlucky during this match, we attacked many times against Malaysia,? he said.

On the same day at Chao Anouvong stadium, Singapore beat Laos 3-1to win the bronze medal. Muhammad Khairul Nizam Bin scored Singapore?s first goal 22 minutes into the game, the remainder of the first half yielding no further score despite the attempts of both teams, the Lao side backed by their faithful, flag waving football army marching to the sound of dozens of drums.

Singapore?s Muhammed Fazli Bin Ayob scored the second goal of the match 6 minutes into the second half, spurring the Lao players into a barrage of attacks, none of which could break through the Singapore defence.

Muhammad Fadhil Bin Noh sealed the deal for Singapore with a third goal in the 86th minute, but Laos kept fighting and star striker Lamnao Singto succeeded in scoring Laos? only goal 2 minutes later. Injury time produced no further goals for Laos, and the players and fans had to settle for fourth place at the end of a campaign that gripped the nation and saw Laos reach further than ever before in a SEA Games football tournament.

Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh attended both the playoff between Laos and Singapore and the final at the National Stadium to watch the action and preside over the medal ceremonies.

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