Last update: 23:44 | 23/01/2018
Right after Vietnam obtained an impressive victory against Qatar to advance to the final of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc congratulated coach Park Hang-seo and the Vietnamese team.
PM congratulates U23 Vietnam team on AFC champs final bert
In his phone call to Secretary General of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Le Hoai Anh, who is now in China, PM Phuc commended the undauntable competing spirit of the Vietnamese players.
He affirmed that the historic victory was a significant event of the country and went into its football history, bringing a great pride to domestic fans.
The PM assigned Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien to appropriately commend and reward coach Park Hang-seo and his players.
Vietnam became the first Southeast Asian country to enter the final of the AFC U23 championship after beating Qatar 4-3 in the penalty shootout on January 23 in China.
Earlier, in the official 90 minutes and nervous extra time, Vietnam drew 2-2 with the Asian powerhouse.
The team will play against either former champion the Republic of Korea or Uzbekistan, which will play later today.
Before the semi-final, Vietnam has been in a disadvantageous situation compared to its rival in terms of physique.
Apart from their thin and small fixture, the Vietnamese players were exhausted after the thrilling quarter-final match that lasted for 120 minutes and included penalty shootouts.
But coach Park believed his players could again defeat a big rival.
“My players have to work hard, but they have great spirit that will help them overcome their physique problem in the upcoming match,” he said. Park and his team made headlines after their outstanding performance from the group round to the quarter-finals.
“We felt the pressure from the first match with the Republic of Korea. We know Qatar are very strong and the upcoming match is important for both sides,” Park said, adding Qatar are also under pressure to win and his players have just as much to lose as their more experienced opponents.
Park said his players spent a lot of energy after four difficult matches but had been preparing well for the semi-final with strong determination.
Shortly after the semi-final between Vietnam and Qatar ended, football lovers in Vietnam's big cities flocked out to streets to celebrate the victory.-VNA