Vietnam's national women’s football team managed a lonely 2-1 win over Thailand on Friday, marking the first time a Vietnamese football team has advanced to the semifinals of an Asian Games.
Only seven Vietnamese fans were in the stands of Goyang Stadium in South Korea to support the Vietnamese women and witness the historic victory.
In the mean time, around 2,000 Vietnamese fans were at Hwaseong Stadium to watch the Vietnamese men’s national U-23 football team in their match against the United Arab Emirates.
In the last-16 round match, Vietnam was eliminated from the Games after a 3-1 loss to the UAE.
Nguyen Tran Tuan, one of the seven fans at Goyang Stadium for women’s match, said, “I contacted my friends before the match and most of them chose to support the men’s team.
“I feel that I must support the lonely Vietnamese women.
“I felt moved by their effort and strength when fighting for the win under a heavy rain.”
The Vietnamese women paid off the debts they owed to their Thai rivals after two consecutive losses. In 2013, Vietnam was beaten 2-1 by Thailand in the final game of the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar. In May this year, Vietnam was again beaten 2-1 in a play-off for the fifth Asian spot in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Mai Duc Chung, the coach of the Vietnamese national women’s football team, said that when Thailand opened the scoring in yesterday’s match, he recalled the two previous losses to ‘ignite’ the spiritual strength of his players.
Vietnam will take on Japan, who beat Hong Kong 9-0 yesterday, in the semifinals on September 29.
The 2014 Asian Games Incheon is being held from September 19 to October 4 in South Korea.