Players cried, supporters cried and, in Vietnam, people hugged each other and cheered as they began the second instant-flag parade in a week.
Striker Nguyen Quang Hai celebrates after scoring a goal against Qatar. VNA/VNS Photo
Vietnam overcame Qatar 4-3 in another penalty shootout in the semi-finals to advance to the goal-medal match in the Asian Football Confederation’s Under-23 Championship in Changshu, China, today.
The thrilling match ended 2-2 after official time, causing the two teams to play extra time, but no more goals were scored.
It was the second match in a row in this tournament in which Vietnam had to play more than 120 minutes. Players were exhausted, but this did not prevent them from enjoying victory for the second time.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc calls to congratulate the Vietnam's U23 football team over the historic victory. VNA/VNS Photo
Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung saved two kicks from Qatari while Nguyen Quang Hai, who scored both goals for Vietnam in the match, failed to beat keeper Mohammed Al Bakari.
Defender Vu Van Thanh was the last player from Vietnam. Millions of people held their breath and burst into tears of happiness when he succeeded.
Players cried, supporters cried and, in Vietnam, people hugged each other and cheered as they began the second instant-flag parade in a week through cities and towns.
Vietnamese supporters burst into joy after the historic win. VNA/VNS Photo
"It was difficult to describe my feelings at present. I am really happy with the result," said Hai in an interview with international media.
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc phoned head of Vietnam Team Le Hoai Anh to congratulate the team. He said it was a great success and asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to provide a worthy bonus for head coach Park Hang-seo and the whole team.
In the final, Vietnam will play Uzbekistan, the winners of the other semi-final with South Korea which took place in Kunshan later the same day.