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Việt Nam set for historic final against Uzbekistan

Update: January, 27/2018 - 08:23
Get in: U23 Việt Nam players run to their teammates after the winning penalty was scored.
Viet Nam News

It was a historic moment when defender Vũ Văn Thanh fired home his penalty to claim victory for Việt Nam U23 in a shootout that carried the team into the final of the AFC U23 Championship in China, with Uzbekistan their next opponents.

Together as one: U23 Việt Nam players and staff cheer the historic victory at the 2018 AFC Championship.

The team went to China as an underdog, and their chances to make it past the group stage looked slim after a defeat against South Korea in their opening game. 

Yet against all odds, they persevered. Việt Nam made it to quarter-final after a 1-0 victory against Australia and a goalless draw versus Syria.

Hero: The man of the hour, midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải scored two goals in the semi-final.

The team’s shock victory penalty shootout against Iraq, a title favourite, captured the continent’s attention. It also made Việt Nam the only team from Southeast Asia to ever make it to the semi-finals of the tournament. 

Sheer elation: Defender Vũ Văn Thanh celebrates after hitting home to carry the team into the final.

The semi-final versus Qatar was unforgettable.

Việt Nam played a gruesome 120-minute battle, coming from behind twice to take the game to penalties. It was goalkeeper Bùi Tiến Dũng’s night as he successfully save two penalties before Thanh stepped up to send his team to the final. Players broke into tears as did the five-hundred-odd fans that braced the cold in the stadium to cheer the boys on.

Emotional: The players broke into tears after victory in the penalty shootout.

U23 Việt Nam will play U23 Uzbekistan today for the 2018 AFC Championship title. We all wish them the best of luck and hope they play with all their hearts. — VNS


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