Vietnam surpassed France’s record of 15 invincible games to hold the longest active unbeaten streak of 16, following a triumph against Malaysia that earned them their second AFF Championship in a decade on Saturday.
The Golden Stars beat Malaysia 1-0 in the second leg of the final on their home turf in Hanoi, securing a 3-2 aggregate triumph to win the regional title, exactly ten years after their first trophy in 2008.
With this victory, Vietnam extended their invincible run to 16 games, the longest active undefeated streak in world football so far. The Southeast Asian country also outperformed the former record-holder – 2018 FIFA World Cup champions France.
The Blues went 15 matches unbeaten before losing 0-2 to the Netherlands in the penultimate round of League A, in the UEFA Nations League in mid-November.
Vietnam’s unbeaten run stretches back to two years ago, when they drew Indonesia 2-2 in their return game at the 2016 AFF Championship semifinal in Hanoi on December 7, 2016.
Although the defeat meant them losing 4-3 on aggregate and could not make it to that year’s finals, it was the start of what is now a consecutive sequence of 16 undefeated games for the Golden Stars.
Vietnam now sit on eight draw and eight victories, securing a two-year unbeaten streak, as they lifted the AFF Championship’s trophy for the second times on Saturday, after a ten-year wait.
This successful run at the AFF Championship, which was recognized by FIFA as a Category A-ranked tournament since its 2016 edition and allowed the participating teams to be offered FIFA world ranking points, contributed to a majority of undefeated games in Vietnam’s record.
It also helped put Vietnam back in the world’s top 100 strongest teams in the latest FIFA World Rankings after a seven-year hiatus.
The 2018 AFF Cup champions will soon be able to extend their unbeaten run, as they are scheduled to play two international friendlies with North Korea on December 25, and the Philippines on December 31.
Vietnam will then start their next big tournament on the Asian football calendar - the 2019 AFC Asian Cup - in the United Arab Emirates in January.