Sunday, 19 May 2019
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Can Vietnam clash for a spot in Asian Cup semi-finals?

Updated at Thursday, 24 Jan 2019, 17:53
The Hanoitimes - Recent history has proven that Japan can’t take the Vietnamese side lightly.
Vietnam have put the world on notice after stunningly making it through to the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 tournament. Will it move further after the match with Japan tonight? Let’s see if the Golden Dragons can make it. 
 
Vietnam's head coach Park Hang-seo. Photo: FOX Sports
Vietnam's head coach Park Hang-seo. Photo: FOX Sports
For the Golden Dragons, this has been a tournament of pure joy thus far. And hardly anyone is giving them a chance as they take on the mighty Samurai Blue this time around.

However, recent history has proven that Japan can’t take the Vietnamese side lightly. Vietnam scored the only goal of the game between these two sides at the Asian Games (ASIAD) on 19th August 2018, propelling this nation to the top of their group.

Good players 

 
Photo: Zing
Photo: Zing
The Golden Dragons are on the cusp of creating history and some good players are the key in encountering Japan. 

Doan Van Hau, the 19-year-old left-wing-back has been a rock at the back. He has proved to be an attacking threat as well.

Do Hung Dung, 25, central midfielder, has been instrumental for the Golden Dragons in the middle of the park, where he acts as a channel between the defenders and the forwards as they look to break with speed.  

Nguyen Cong Phuong, 24, forward, has been a constant danger-man for the opposing defenses so far in the competition

Que Ngoc Hai, 25-year-old defender, largely contributed to Vietnam’s strong defense.

Nguyen Quang Hai, 21, forward, continues good performances with his stunning freekicks. 

Dang Van Lam, 23, goalkeeper, has proved his calm and wise movements through AFF Suzuki Cup and the Asian Cup 2019.

Firm support 

 
Vietnamese football fans. Photo: FOX Sports
Vietnamese football fans. Photo: FOX Sports
With Vietnam the only team flying the ASEAN flag in the quarterfinal stage of the AFC Asian Cup 2019, it might just be the time for the whole of Southeast Asia to set their rivalries aside for a while and rally behind the Golden Dragons, said netizens. 

Accordingly, people from every part of ASEAN have raised voices and supported the Vietnamese team. Many posted on social networks video clips showing their firm support to coach Park Hang-seo’s boys. 

Here are some bold titles: “Thailand backs Vietnam setting aside Asian Cup disappointment”, “Vietnam’s heroics bring hope for Cambodia”, “Myanmar believes Japan beatable!”, “Supporters of the Philippine Azkals will undoubtedly cheer for the Golden Dragons”, “Vietnam achieving all that Malaysia has been dreaming of”, “Rivals for long, but Indonesia hoping the best for Vietnam”. 

Hundreds of Vietnamese people are flying to the UAE to cheer the team while all families are eager to watch the match.      

While nobody is expecting Vietnam to go all the way at the Asian Cup 2019, the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup champions know they do possess the firepower to give Japan all sorts of problems. 

It will take heart from their Asian Games performance to go all the way against their much fancied opponents.

Just wait for the Golden Star warriors to get emboldened!
Linh Pham
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