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The Local Game: Putting stadiums on the right track

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SHB Đà Nẵng take on Viettel in the V.League 1 on Sunday. Photo Peter Cowan

Peter Cowan

With apologies to all the hardcore track and field nuts out there (and there must be some), it’s long since time running tracks were given the boot from Vietnamese football stadiums.

I haven’t had many opportunities to visit football grounds in Việt Nam outside of Hà Nội but was lucky enough to stop off at Hòa Xuân Stadium in Đà Nẵng on Sunday on the way home from Hội An, and the experience was a revelation.

Most of my time watching football has been spent at small and intimate grounds in Northern Ireland like Seaview in Belfast, where the crowd is so close to the pitch that the players can hear every utterance from the stands, whether they like it or not. 

Fans can feel almost part of the game in grounds like Seaview and you can start convincing yourself that the opposition centre forward is having a terrible match thanks to a few well-chosen words of invective you may have hurled at him.

When there’s a running track between fans and the pitch though, supporters can feel disconnected from the action and the atmosphere suffers. At particularly boring matches where the action on the pitch isn’t stimulating, it’s almost like being at the opera, or so I imagine.

So for me, the atmospheres at Hàng Đẫy and Mỹ Đình stadiums in Hà Nội have always been a bit lacking, apart from at big matches with a lot at stake.

While there wasn’t a huge amount at stake between SHB Đà Nẵng and Viettel on Sunday, having the match played at a proper stadium made all the difference for me.

Yes, Hòa Xuân was far from full (thanks, COVID-19) and some louder away fans wouldn’t have gone amiss, but a mostly drab 2-1 win for Viettel was livened up immeasurably by how engaged the supporters were.

My Vietnamese language skills are pretty poor, but even I was able to recognise the distinct tone of ridicule being rained down on the away side, plenty of jokes that made all around me laugh and moans, groans and wails of consternation as Đà Nẵng huffed and puffed without looking like scoring in the second half.

There was even that classic of live football, the overly passionate and angry supporter ranting and raving to no one in particular and somehow managing to pick a fight with most of the stand, though in a sign of the times he seemed to be losing his rag about having to wear a mask. Let’s charitably say he spent too much time in the sun over the long weekend.

This isn’t to say none of this banter, for lack of a better word, went on at other grounds with running tracks this weekend, but I can’t help but feel teams, fans and the game itself wouldn’t be better served with purpose-built football stadiums.

I understand why the running track is so common as budget-conscious local authorities would have insisted on getting value for money out of these stadiums when they were first built by using them for multiple sports, and rightly so.

Times have changed though, and again with apologies to track and field fans, but far more fans show up on a consistent basis to watch football than to watch hurdles. I’m also guessing there is likely more funding available now to build stadiums dedicated to athletics that there was in the past.

So when grounds up and down the country are revamped (hopefully sooner rather than later based on the states of some stadiums), here’s hoping we can dispense with running tracks and play the beautiful game in the atmosphere it deserves.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/sports/939272/the-local-game-putting-stadiums-on-the-right-track.html

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Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

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Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

Nguyen Quang Hai has a muscle problem during a training session of the national football team on May 17, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.


Some key players of the national football team have suffered injuries while training for the upcoming World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Midfielder Luong Xuan Truong had a problem with his ankle during a match in training on May 11. He is expected to return after a week. He will train with the doctor of the national team Choi Ju-young for faster recovery.

Attacking midfieder Nguyen Hoang Duc has suffered a more serious injury, damaging his left instep after receiving a tackle during training on Saturday. It will take him longer to return to training.

In the latest training session on Monday, key midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai showed a distinct lack of tamina. After checking on the 24-year-old, Dr. Choi said Hai has muscle fatigue and he will need to rest to avoid injuries.

But coach Park Hang-seo has also had some good news. Three injured players, leftback Doan Van Hau, rightback Nguyen Trong Hoang and fullback Le Van Xuan have returned to training. These athletes haven’t played for a long time, so they will try and regain their form quickly.

Three other players– goalkeeper Nguyen Van Hoang, defender Pham Xuan Manh and forward Phan Van Duc – have also joined the national team after finishing their quarantine. Earlier this month, they’d had indirect contact with a Covid-19 case in their club, Song Lam Nghe An.

Tuyển Việt Nam tập chiều 16/5

 
 

Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

Tuyển Việt Nam tập chiều 16/5

Vietnam football squad train in Hanoi on May 16, 2021.

After each training session, Dr. Choi and the medical team will check on all players and evaluate their condition then report to coach Park. This will help players stay fit and avoid unwanted problems. They have been maintaining a tight schedule with the V. League for the past few months and need a proper routine of training and resting to preserve stamina, officials have said.

The national team have been in training since May 7 with the frequency of one session a day. Towards the end of May, coach Park will select 27 from a shortlist of 37 players for the World Cup qualifiers in the UAE. Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam will fly to the UAE from Japan.

The Golden Dragons will play a friendly against Jordan on May 31. The team will play their World Cup qualifers against Indonesia on June 7, Malaysia on June 11 and the UAE on June 15. Vietnam currently top group G with 11 points. Six points out of three games will see the team advancing to the last round of World Cup qualifers for the first time in history.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/sports/football/vietnam-football-squad-suffer-training-injuries-4280344.html

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Vietnam defeat Iraq in preparation for FIFA Futsal World Cup play-off

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Vietnam staged a comeback to beat Iraq 2-1 in a friendly game in the UAE on Monday night in their preparation for the play-off to win a ticket to the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The game took place behind closed doors and without media coverage.

According to Tran Anh Tu, a standing member of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), who is also head of the Vietnamese futsal delegation to the UAE, Iraq mainly defended and counterattacked in the first half.

Vietnam dominated the game and created a lot of chances.

However, a mistake in the Vietnamese defense line lent the Iraqis a chance to score the opening goal. 

But before the end of the first half, Pham Duc Hoa managed to net the equalizer for Vietnam after several misses.

In the second half, although Iraq organized more attacks, Vietnam still controlled the game before raising the goal difference to 2-1 in the 35th minute, when Dac Huy headed home after Chau Doan Phat’s shot bounced off.

The score remained unchanged until the referee blew the whistle to end play.

The 2-1 victory uplifted the entire Vietnamese national men’s futsal team, according to Tu.

“The match against Iraq certainly helped the coaching staff learn a lot of experience and point out things they need to overcome before playing the official matches against Lebanon,” Tu said, referring to the two-legged play-off comprising two games at 10:00 pm on May 23 and May 25 (Vietnam time).

The goal of the Vietnamese national futsal team is to win a ticket to the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the second time, after the first one in 2016 in Colombia. 

At the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, Vietnam not only unexpectedly made it to the finals, but also played jubilantly and reached the Round of 16.

The 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be held in Lithuania from September 12 to October 13 this year.

The quadrennial international futsal championship was originally scheduled to run from September 12 to October 4, 2020 as the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together with Lithuania who qualify automatically as hosts, 23 other teams from six separate continental competitions will compete in the final tournament.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/sports/20210518/vietnam-defeat-iraq-in-preparation-match-for-fifa-futsal-world-cup-playoff/61007.html

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Khanh Van’s impressive outfits at Miss Universe 2020

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Reviewing the journey of Miss Universe Vietnam Nguyen Tran Khanh Van at Miss Universe 2020 pageant through her most impressive costumes.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van quickly impressed the audience and the media with her diverse and outstanding fashion style. She appeared at the airport with this outfit – a dark red knitted vest combined with a trendy short, mixed with bags and suitcases of similar colors.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van prepared up to 15 pieces of luggage and nearly 200 dresses, from gorgeous evening designs to youthful streetwear.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
This outfit is inspired by the water lily of Dong Thap Muoi region, associated with life in Southwest of Vietnam.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van wrote on her personal page: “Bringing Vietnamese beauty and culture to Miss Universe”. This outfit is inspired by the terraced fields of Vietnam.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

According to a beauty site, Khanh Van ranked first for having the most beautiful outfits, followed by the representatives of Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and Thailand.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

Khanh Van, 26, stands at 1.76 metres tall and measures 83-61-95. She was previously crowned as Miss Universe Vietnam 2019, thereby winning the right to represent the country at the Miss Universe 2020 pageant.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

She had arrived in the US on May 2 and competed alongside 73 contestants from around the world over a two-week period in several different events as part of the pageant, including the national costume, evening gown, and swimsuit sub-contests, in addition to the semi-final night.

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Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/entertainment-sports/khanh-van-s-impressive-outfits-at-miss-universe-2020-737468.html

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