Vietnam storms to U23 Asian Cup final after beating Qatar on penalties

Vietnam’s 4-3 win over Qatar in AFC U23 semifinal marks a new episode in Vietnam’s football history.  History has been made as Vietnam earned a ticket to the finals of the AFC U23 Championship on Tuesday thanks to a dramatic victory over Qatar. With the 4-3 penalty shootout in favor of Vietnam after the 2-2 draw, the country’s U23 football team once again surprised Asian football fans, becoming the first Southeast Asian country to enter the final of the championship. Before the match, Vietnam’s coach Park Hang-seo stayed hopeful but also cautious, knowing that Qatar was widely seen as a stronger team. “Though we are aware that it’s going to be a hard game, we still have a great belief that we can win. Belief is what has brought us here,” said the coach. “We fight for Vietnamese supporters, for Vietnam. I think the fighting spirit is one of the most best weapon of Vietnam [team],” said Vientnamese U23 team captain Luong Xuan Truong ahead of the semifinal. “I think the tactics from the head coaching staff are good preparations of VFF [Vietnam Football Federation. And the solidarity of the team [is also the team’s greatest strength].” Vietnam is poised to face either South Korea or Uzbekistan in the final, who are set to play on Tuesday evening.  The country’s national U23 football team qualified for the semifinals of the AFC U23 Championship on Saturday thanks to a dramatic victory over Iraq. Earlier, Vietnam also became the first Southeast Asian team to achieve a group stage victory… [Read full story]

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