Thousands of football supporters in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other localities across Vietnam took to the streets on Saturday night, basking in the glory of their U23 team advancing into the semifinals of the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China.
Vietnam and Iraq entered a penalty shootout after a dramatic 3-3 draw in 120 minutes, with the young Golden Stars taking the lead twice, in their quarterfinal clash at Changshu Stadium in Changshu.
The Vietnamese, considered the underdogs, managed to hold their nerves and claimed a 5-3 win in the shootout, with the Iraqis wasted their chance in the first round.
Vietnamese fans, having been taken through a roller coaster of emotions for more than 120 minutes watching the game, did not wait any further to rejoice in the streets in celebration of the historic win.
This is the first time the Vietnamese have made it to the last-four round at the continental tourney for under-23 players.
People celebrate in Ho Chi Minh City. Video: Tuoi Tre
Supporters donning red T-shirts and carrying the national flag participated in ‘motorbike parades’ across several streets in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, making glorious noise.
In Ho Chi Minh City, hundreds flooded such downtown streets as Ham Nghi, Dong Khoi and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, while others gathered in big crowds in front of such landmarks as the Municipal Theater and the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon.
As the clock ticked toward midnight, the ‘red sea’ of revelers just got bigger and bigger.
People celebrate in Hanoi. Video: Tuoi Tre
Below are photos of the celebration in Ho Chi Minh City:
and in Hanoi:
Vietnam started their journey in China with a 1-2 loss after taking the lead to South Korea before stunning Australia 1-0 and drawing 0-0 with Syria, advancing to the knockout stage as the Group D runners-up, second to the Koreans.
Vietnam will take on Qatar in the first semifinal game on January 23 while Uzbekistan will play South Korea in the other match the same day.