Leading up to their opener at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the UAE, Vietnam have received encouraging news from FIFA, as the international governing body of association football accredited the Golden Stars with holding an impressive undefeated streak of 18 games.
“Vietnam are currently on a national-record 18-game unbeaten run,” FIFA wrote on its verified Twitter on Sunday.
The tweet came after the “The Week in Numbers” article on FIFA's website on January 4, which said “18 games unbeaten is the national-record run on which Vietnam will begin the AFC Asian Cup.”
Vietnam were 130th on the FIFA World Ranking in September 2017, but made their way to winning the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship last month and finished a calendar year in the top 100 for the first time since 2012.
“Can they keep the streak going during [the Asian Cup]?” FIFA wrote in Sunday’s tweet, which was posted along with a picture of the Vietnamese footballers celebrating a goal.
|A screenshot captures the tweet on FIFA’s official Twitter account on January 6, 2019.|
This means that FIFA officially recognized the 18-game invincible streak of Vietnam, the longest active undefeated run in world football so far.
Vietnamese fans rejoiced at the FIFA move, given that their beloved national team’s undefeated run was previously reported by local media only.
The supporters had been worried that Vietnam’s latest victory against the Philippines in an unconventional friendly in Qatar on December 31 would not be counted to the unbeaten run.
Vietnam beat the Philippines 4-2 in the match that was closed to spectators and included three 30-minute sessions, instead of two 45-minute halves as usual.
The Golden Stars are all ready for their campaign at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, which runs from January 5 to February 1.
Vietnam will play their Group D opener against Iraq on January 8, before taking on Iran on January 12 and Yemen on January 16.