AFC predicts positive future for Vietnam U23s

Tuesday, 2018-01-30 17:46:09
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Vietnam U23s celebrate the leveler in the final of the AFC U23 Championship against Uzbekistan U23s.
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NDO – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has predicted a positive future for the Vietnamese U23 football players after their amazing run at the AFC U23 Championship in China, ending the tournament with silver medals.

In its latest article published on the AFC website, the continental governing body for regional football said that when Vietnam secured their 1-0 victory over Australia on match day two, they not only claimed their first-ever victory at the U23 tournament, but also Southeast Asia’s.

Following the three-week tournament in Changzhou, China, Vietnam became the first Southeast Asian team to progress to the final of the continental tournament. “Vietnam may have ultimately lost the final, but results in China point to a positive future,” it said.

AFC also described Vietnam as “penalty kings” stating: “Vietnam led the way on penalties conceded by giving away three, two of which were converted, in their six games… The Southeast Asians ended up spot-kick kings after emerging victorious from the tournament’s only two penalty shootouts.”

Teammates clean snow to help Quang Hai (No. 19) on the free-kick spot. The midfielder did not waste his teammates’ efforts by curling home a superb goal, leveling the score 1-1 in the final match of the AFC U23 Championship versus Uzbekistan U23s.

The team managed to edge out regional favourites Iraq and Qatar in penalty shootouts on route to the final.

In their six matches, coach Park Hang-seo’s players conceded three penalties. Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung left a lasting impression as he saved a total of four.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai was nicknamed “sweet left foot”.

“Nguyen Quang Hai’s incredible tournament continued on Saturday as his inch-perfect free-kick sailed into the top corner to level the scores. That was his fifth goal of the tournament and fourth left-footed effort from outside the penalty area as the midfielder ended the competition boasting more than a third of the 11 goals from distance in his name”, the article said.

In addition to the praise for the great progress in Vietnamese football, the AFC also recognised the success of Southeast Asian football as two out of the eight teams from the region progressed to the knock-out rounds for the first time, namely Vietnam U23s and Malaysia U23s.