Fans were ecstatic when their national team went on a historic soccer run this month. This would mark the very first time the team has battled their way into the Asian Football Confederation U23 championship. Asia.nikkei.com reported there were crowds gathering in the streets after their win over Qatar that propelled them into the finals.
“Hundreds of motorbikes and more than a thousand people thronged around the Hanoi Opera House at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, after the semifinal victory over Qatar, waving Vietnamese flags and making noise with drums, horns and shouts. An even larger crowd gathered near Hoan Kiem Lake, completely clogging the streets. The celebrations went on until 2 or 3 in the morning. Strangers embraced and shared drinks, while police turned a blind eye to infractions rather than throw cold water on the atmosphere. Motorbike drivers blithely ignored traffic signals but were sure to call out whenever they spotted a pedestrian or a fellow rider holding a Vietnamese flag.”
(photo credit: xinhuanet.com)
Sadly Vietnamese soccer lovers were left heartbroken after losing to Uzbekistan in the finals. However the swelling crowds in the streets and the overwhelming sense of unity and pride was ultimately more valuable then a win. The photos of the proud Vietnamese people congregating together waiving their flags was an amazing moment to behold. Countrymen located all around the world sent out best wishes and support going into the finals including Vietnamese-American celebrity Cung Le.
“U23 Vietnam lets do this!!!” – Cung Le
After the loss
Vietnamese fans around the globe were inspired by the sense of unity and pride this soccer tournament seem to generate. Today Cung Le issued this official statement while reflecting on the experience.
“This is the furthest our soccer team has gone, against all odds they advanced this far. I’m proud of their accomplishments and even though it hurts to lose I know Vietnam will come back even stronger. Their historic achievements brought unity to the Vietnamese people.” -Cung Le
(photo credit: kathy uyen/edit a.c)