Viet Nam Trump Thailand to Win Cup

Viet Nam’s police football team won the second People’s Police Newspaper Cup after they downed their arch rivals from Thailand 3 – 2 in a thrilling final of the football tournament for Southeast Asia’s police at Ha Noi’s Hang Day Stadium on Wednesday.

Viet Nam's police football team win the 2007 People’s Police Newspaper Cup

Nearly ten thousand host fans were in full cry five minutes after kickoff when Tuan Thanh tapped home a loose ball after Thanh Chau’s long range shot was punched away by the Thai keeper.

But the visitors, with four footballers who play for Thailand’s Champion League, came back just four minutes later with striker Suthep Naknan blasting an unstoppable volley from the 30 meter mark into the back of the net.

The hosts regained the lead on the stroke of half time when Tuan Thanh burst down the left to swing a dangerous cross that was missed by Truong Giang but found by Bui Quang Hop, who simply tapped the ball home.

After the break, Viet Nam tried to protect their narrow lead with a defensive formation, allowing Thailand to dominate the game.

The visitors tied the score seven minutes into the second half when the lively Suthep won the ball off poor passing between center-defenders Le Anh Dung and Trinh Quoc Khanh to net his second point of the match.

Thailand had ten men on the field ten minutes into the second extra-time when Krisadee was sent off for a challenge on Ly Thai Hung.

With five minutes to go, the skillful midfielder, who replaced skipper Vu Minh Hieu, was the prime mover in the buildup to the winning shot, slipping in a perfect pass for Tuan Thanh to net his second point from close range.

The champions won a cash prize worth VND100 million (US$6,250) while the runners-up received VND80 million (US$5,000).

By Phuong Hoa - Translated by Hoang Uy

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