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Viettel look to make it three-in-a-row in final group game




Viettel are looking for their third win in a row at the AFC Cup. They will play Singapore’s Hougang United today at the HCM City’s Thống Nhất Stadium. — Photo of Viettel FC

HÀ NỘI — Viettel are considering their last Group I match against Hougang United today as an ‘early final’ at the AFC Cup, as a loss will see them crash out of the regional tournament. 

Viettel coach assistant Đặng Thanh Phương said although the hosts only need a draw to go through, they are targetting a win.

“It is an important match. Viettel are currently top of the table due to a better goal difference, ahead of Hougang. We have a small advantage but we do not expect a draw from this match. We want to walk away as the winner,” Phương said at the press briefing on Wednesday.

He said Viettel’s previous match against Phnom Penh Crown was a win, but was not enough to satisfy people’s trust. The last group round match will be different as players are asked to play their best for their supporters who travelled from Hà Nội to HCM City to cheer them on.

“I have evaluated my team and Hougang United and selected the most suitable line-up. They will have to play the game our way,” Phương said.

National midfielder Nguyễn Hoàng Đức also took part in the briefing.

“Pressure is there in all matches but we know how to escape it. I will go on the field with the strongest determination and a target a win,” Đức said.

“I have no holy or lucky items for my competition but I always look to the sky before entering the field and wish for a positive result. I also tell myself to strive hard every time and do my best. I hope to score in tomorrow’s match to help Viettel finish the group round on top,” the national player said.

Đức said Viettel, who will have to do without head coach Bae Ji-won because of COVID-19, will change their playing style to make sure of a win at Thống Nhất Stadium in HCM City.

He believed it will be a quality and beautiful match to serve the team’s target and supporters’ expectations. 

On the other side, coach Clement Teo of Hougang Utd said it would be a decisive match for both teams. While Viettel needs a draw, Hougang must win to advance to the next round.

While Viettel are not competing at their home ground, the match is still in Việt Nam so they will have the advantage of ‘home soil’. 

He said although his team are at a lower level compared to Viettel, his coaching board have identified some weaknesses. 

In the coming match, if Hougang win it will be a good sign for both the club and Singapore’s football.

Viettel and Hougang United will kick off at 5pm. The winning team will advance to the ASEAN Zone’s semi-final, which will be held in early August.

In the later game, Young Elephants of Laos will play Phnom Penh Crown. Both of them have been eliminated after two losses.  VNS



Vietnam wraps up Asian volleyball championship in 4th place



Vietnam ranked fourth at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship after losing 2-3 to Japan in the third-place playoff in Thailand on Wednesday afternoon.

Japan faced a tough challenge from Vietnam throughout the match.

The Vietnamese players gave the back-to-back champions a score chase in the opening set before claiming a surprising 25-21 win.

Japan bounced back to show its dominance and take a commanding 25-14 win in the second set.

In the third set, though Vietnam initially maintained a 4-4 and 6-6 tie, Japan seized control at 10-7 and eventually made a comeback to secure a 25-22 victory.

In the fourth set, Vietnam managed to turn things around in one of the most emotionally charged moments of the match. 

Starting with a 4-8 deficit, the Vietnamese side rallied to score five consecutive points, taking a 9-8 lead and eventually securing the set with a score of 25-20. 

This dramatic 2-2 equalizer forced the match into a decisive fifth set.

Vietnamese players compete during their third-place playoff against Japan at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Thailand, September 6, 2023. Photo: SSM

Vietnamese players compete during their third-place playoff against Japan at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Thailand, September 6, 2023. Photo: SSM

Vietnam entered the fifth set with confidence, yet Japan promptly took an 8-5 lead. 

The Vietnamese players, however, showed resilience, making a determined effort to narrow the score to 10-12. 

But during the critical moments, Japan remained composed and clinched victory with a score of 15-11.

As a result of this defeat, Vietnam placed fourth in the overall rankings, their best-ever finish at the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship.

Vietnam’s previous most notable achievement was a fifth-place finish in both 2015 and 2017.

Host Thailand claimed their third Asian title with a remarkable unbeaten record after winning the five-set thriller against China in the final match on the same day.

The top three teams — Thailand, China, and Japan — earned a spot in the 2025 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.

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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.

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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.

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