Last update: 10:20 | 25/01/2019
Vietnam lost 0-1 to Japan the first quarterfinal match of the ongoing 2019 Asian Footbal Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, which took place at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 24.
Striker Cong Phuong (in red) in action in the match
However, they were still heaped with praises from fans and commentators for a game described as one of their best so far.
The underdogged showed a brave, determined spirit against the giants Japan throughout the match and conceded only one goal from a 57th-minute penalty kick, determined with help from the video assistance referee (VAR) technology.
Earlier, at the 24th minute, the technology had its role to play in the referee’s decision to rule out a goal for Japan although captain Maya Yoshida headed the ball to Vietnam’s net, showing that it had touched his hand.
After conceding the goal from the spot, Vietnam kept fighting and showed no signs of giving up but created various chances against their Japanese rivals.
Vietnam’s head coach Park Hang-seo sent in all of his three substitutes to improve the situation for the side, but the Japanese defenders worked well to keep their net clean.
At the opposite end of the field, Vietnam’s goalie Van Lam became a hero of the match with many excellent saves that denied many dangerous shots from Japan.
Vietnam advanced to the quarter-finals of the tournament following a breath-taking shootout with Jordan on January 20, while Japan reached the stage after beating Saudi Arabia 1-0 one day later.-VNA