15:51 | 24/01/2018 Society
Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung made history as his penalty saves helped Vietnam continue their march to the final of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship in Changzhou, China, on January 23.
|Vietnam will play the final of the AFC U23 Champs against Uzbekistan on January 27 - Photo: bongda24h|
Following a 2-2 draw in official time and extra time, Vietnam again had to settle their encounter through a penalty shootout.
This time around, Vietnamese hero Hai, who scored four out of seven goals for his team, made millions of home fans nervous, when his shot, the first for Vietnam, was denied by Al Bakari, whose teammate Afif had already done a good job with the first kick for Qatar earlier.
However, Vietnamese goalkeeper Dung stopped efforts from Qatari duo Ahmad Moein in the second and Sultan Al Brake in the fifth penalties.
Vu Van Thanh then kept his nerve to convert Vietnam’s fifth shot, and send the 2017 World Cup U20 participants through to the final.
They will now set up a title showdown against Uzbekistan on January 27.
Vietnam is only one match away from a championship trophy while Qatar fell at the semi-final stage for the second successive competition following their fourth-place finish at the tournament’s last edition in 2016.
Speaking at the post-match conference coach Park praised his players as the warriors, saying that his team promised not to let their supporters down and they managed it.
Despite losing a lot of energy after four difficult matches they did great job to beat Qatar who were considered much stronger rivals.
Meanwhile, Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said he predicted it would be a tough match and it was. Qatar failed to enter the final and Vietnam deserved to be one of the finalists because they were more determined and tried hard to secure victory. In football, there were wins and losses. It would be a valuable experience for him and his players, he said.
After the match, Vietnamese players received congratulations from local and international dignitaries and fans.