HÀ NỘI — The SEA Games 31 in Việt Nam has come to an end with a closing ceremony on May 23 at Hà Nội’s Indoor Games Gymnasium, attended by Vietnamese and international leaders, athletes and fans.
Announcing the official closing of the Games, Vietnamese PM Phạm Minh Chính said: “The SEA Games 31 has been a great success.
“More than 10,000 athletes, referees and coaches have more than 10,000 stories about their efforts and sacrifices in overcoming difficulties and challenges to participate in the region’s biggest sports festival.
“There were smiles and joy of winning and there are also tears, sadness and regret when the results weren’t as expected.
“But above all, every athlete tried their best, competed hard, exchanged, learned, explored different cultures and received support and encouragement from fans. That’s a true victory for all of us.
“On behalf of the Leaders of the Party and State of Việt Nam, I announce the closing of the Games. The torch of winning faith, the torch of friendship and solidarity, the torch of peace and development in Southeast Asia will be forever lit.
“We will meet again at the SEA Games 32 in the beautiful and hospitable Cambodia.”
A performance with images of the capital city of Hà Nội, a city of thousands years of civilization. — VNA/ Photo
The main event began with the National Anthem of the hosts Việt Nam, followed by a parade of all 11 participating countries, referees and volunteers.
At the event, the Organising Committee honoured four athletes: Việt Nam’s Nguyễn Thị Oanh and Nguyễn Huy Hoàng, Joshua Robert Atkinson of Thailand and Quah Jing Wen of Singapore with the Most Valuable Player of the SEA Games 31 awards.
The ceremony also featured Việt Nam handing over the Southeast Asian Games Federation flag to Cambodia – the host country of the SEA Games 32.
The ceremony, with the motto “Gather to shine”, sent a warm farewell to regional athletes and fans through special art displays, dances with traditional conical hats, áo dài and circus performances from the Central Highlands.
With these unique displays, the ceremony showed the image of Việt Nam as not only a culture imbued with a traditional identity but also a destination integrating deeply with the world and a much-loved hub of development that is attractive to young people.
The closing ceremony ended with a medley of songs to bid farewell to international friends, including Việt Nam’s Miracle, A Thousand Dreams of Việt Nam, Beautiful Việt Nam, Việt Nam’s Journeys, The Hearts of Việt Nam and Việt Nam in Harmony with the Five Continents, performed by famous Vietnamese singers Văn Mai Hương, Uyên Linh, Dương Hoàng Yến and Hà Nhi, with hundreds of art performers.
For the second time hosting the regional biggest sports competition, Việt Nam welcomed more than 4,900 athletes from the region who competed in 40 different sports across 526 categories.
Việt Nam dominated the medal tally with 446 medals in total, including 205 golds, 125 silvers and 116 bronze medals, breaking the record for the number of gold medals won at one Southeast Asian Games to become the most successful delegation in SEA Games history.
The SEA Games 32 will take place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2023. —
The closing of 31st SEA Games held in Việt Nam. — VNA/ Photo
A performance of Apsara dance as Cambodia assumes the host of SEA Games in 2023. — VNA/ Photo
Military-run Viettel offers free live broadcast of 2024 Euro qualifiers in Vietnam
TV360, the over-the-top (OTT) media service provided by military-run Viettel Telecom and the official rights holder of the 2024 UEFA Euro qualifiers, will provide free live coverage on its network in Vietnam.
The company announced the offer on Wednesday, instructing viewers to utilize its TV360 website and app.
All matches are accessible for free by simply logging into TV360 users’ accounts.
The tournament copyright holder said that TV360 can be streamed without interruptions on various devices such as Smart TVs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and TV360 receivers.
The 2024 UEFA Euro qualifying tournament is being played from March 2023 to March 2024 to determine the 23 member men’s national teams in the Union of European Football Associations that will join the automatically-qualified hosts Germany in the finals, scheduled to take place from June 14 to July 14, 2024.
A total of 53 UEFA member associations were divided into ten groups, with seven groups of five and three groups of six.
The qualifying group stage is being played in a home-and-away, round-robin format on double matchdays in March, June, September, October, and November this year.
The winners and runners-up from the ten groups will qualify directly for the finals.
Following the qualifying group stage, the remaining three teams will be decided through the playoffs, to be held in March 2024.
Four rounds of qualifiers took place in March and June, with powerhouses like England, France, and Portugal holding the top positions.
Spain, another heavyweight, currently hold the fourth position out of five teams in Group A after one win and one draw.
The upcoming qualifying matches later this month present Spain with a chance to enhance their performance.
The fifth and sixth rounds of the Euro qualifying stage are scheduled for Thursday to September 13.
Vietnam Football Federation to cooperate with LaLiga to train coaches, players
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with LaLiga, Spain’s top men’s professional football division, on Wednesday morning to collaborate on training coaches and players in a Spanish style until 2026.
Both football bodies have entered into a deal to share their knowledge in order to enhance the growth of professional and community football in Vietnam.
Furthermore, they will undertake initiatives related to national teams and various sports training projects.
In the near term, LaLiga Academy Vietnam, established in late 2021, will conduct training sessions for VFF coaches and youth football development units.
Football experts assessed that the cooperation holds significant importance for the advancement of Vietnamese football, particularly in the context of the VFF’s efforts to strengthen relationships with established football entities in Asia and Europe.
During the signing ceremony in Hanoi, Ivan Codina, LaLiga’s Southeast Asia-Australia, Japan & South Korea managing director, stated that Vietnam holds a strategic position in Asia for LaLiga, which takes pride in the opportunity to collaborate and grow together with Vietnamese football.
Codina pledged that LaLiga Academy Vietnam will provide support and apply Spanish coaching methods to Vietnamese coach training programs.
In addition, they have plans to facilitate the development of young Vietnamese football talents through initiatives like training them in Spain and other cooperative programs.
Dunedin delight as Dutch put seven past Vietnam to top group
DUNEDIN, New Zealand — Esmee Brugts netted two long-range stunners as the Netherlands rediscovered their scoring touch in a crushing 7-0 win over Vietnam on Tuesday, reaching the Women’s World Cup knockouts in style and locking up top spot in Group E.
The Dutch had only scored once in each of their two previous games but, knowing goal difference could decide the group winners, were 4-0 up inside 25 minutes, with Brugts’ curled effort the pick of the bunch.
Her second goal in the 57th minute was a carbon copy of the first and put the Netherlands 6-0 ahead before Jill Roord also bagged her second of the night to wrap up the emphatic win, the biggest of the tournament so far.
|Soccer Football – FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 – Group E – Vietnam v Netherlands – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand – August 1, 2023 Netherlands’ Esmee Brugts celebrates scoring their third goal. Photo: Reuters|
“I’ll surely be looking back with a happy feeling,” Brugts said. “I scored two but the rest of the team also played well.
“The confidence level is the same as before the game. We wanted to be ranked first in the group. We managed to do so, and that’s nice.”
The Netherlands were expected to finish behind the United States in the group but the defending champions were held to a goalless draw by Portugal in Auckland and ended in second place in Group E, two points off the summit.
|Soccer Football – FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 – Group E – Vietnam v Netherlands – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand – August 1, 2023 Netherlands’ Jill Roord celebrates scoring their seventh goal. Photo: Reuters|
The 2019 runners-up will travel to Sydney for their last 16 tie on Sunday and are likely to face Italy, who sit in second place behind Sweden in Group G.
Although they were missing all-time top scorer Vivianne Miedema due to injury, the Dutch had five different goalscorers against Vietnam, who had already been eliminated after losing their first two games.
Lieke Martens, Katja Snoeijs, Roord and Danielle van de Donk also scored in the first half and the Netherlands had a staggering 42 attempts at goal overall, including 17 on target. By contrast, Vietnam managed five shots but none on target.
|Soccer Football – FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 – Group E – Vietnam v Netherlands – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand – August 1, 2023 Netherlands’ Esmee Brugts celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates. Photo: Reuters|
Dominique Janssen launched a wonderful ball from defence into Vietnam’s penalty area, where Martens lobbed goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh to put the Netherlands ahead after eight minutes for her 60th international goal.
Snoeijs slotted in the second three minutes later after being set up by Van de Donk, and Brugts soon added another from distance, her strike from outside the box nestling into the top right corner.
Roord, who had twice fired wide twice, finally got on the scoresheet after volleying in Janssen’s cross. Roord drew a fantastic save from Kim Thanh just before halftime, but Van de Donk was on hand to tap in the rebound.
|Soccer Football – FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 – Group E – Vietnam v Netherlands – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand – August 1, 2023 Netherlands’ Jill Roord shoots at goal. Photo: Reuters|
After Brugts’ superb sixth with another fierce strike, Roord, who had hit the crossbar, headed in the seventh with seven minutes remaining.
“I was afraid that the gap would be even bigger,” Vietnam coach Mai Duc Chung said. “We have tried our best but it is clear that we cannot close the gap between us and the Netherlands.
“We have conceded 12 goals in our three games, so our level is low even compared to other Asian teams. But I think our efforts have been great. In this journey, I am satisfied with the spirit of the team.”
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