Vietnamese football supporters have celebrated the under-23 team’s progress into the final four of the Asian Cup as if the team had already won the tournament or qualified for a FIFA World Cup.Foreigners in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other towns across the country were surprised to be confronted by seas of people who took to the streets carrying the national flag in celebration of the U23’s quarterfinal penalty shootout win against Iraq on Saturday night. Revelers rejoiced after the game had ended in a tense 3-3 draw after extra time at the AFC U23 Championships being held in China. After learning of the reason for the outpouring of national pride, expats and foreign visitors were left scratching their heads, and pondering whether it was too early to celebrate.However, a look back at Vietnam’s football history over the last decade may explain why fans have not waited for a trophy to start celebrating. Fairy taleVietnam debuted at the U23 Asian championship in 2016, but failed to make it through their group. This year, in only their second appearance, the Golden Stars have made history after beating Australia 1-0 in their group game on January 14, becoming the first-ever Southeast Asian team to… Read full this story
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