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The heroes are home: Vietnam football team arrive in Hanoi after fairytale Asian Cup run

Saturday, January 26, 2019, 16:59 GMT+7
The heroes are home: Vietnam football team arrive in Hanoi after fairytale Asian Cup run
Vietnam's Quang Hai smiles as he leaves Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, January 26, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Head coach Park Hang-seo and his players were welcomed as national heroes as their flight from the UAE touched down in Hanoi on Saturday afternoon, bringing the brave Golden Stars and their boss home after a fairytale run in the AFC Asian Cup 2019.

Hundreds were at Noi Bai International Airport this afternoon to welcome the heroes home after they beat all odds and reached the final eight of the continental tournament.

Vietnam’s historic Asian Cup run ended with a 1-0 defeat to Japan, with the four-time champions winning by a solitary goal in a tightly-contested quarterfinal in Dubai on Thursday.

The Vietnamese national football squad left the Middle East country on Friday.

Vietnamese goalkeeper Van Lam
Vietnamese goalkeeper Van Lam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnam's Duy Manh. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnam's Duy Manh. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien was at the Hanoi airport to greet the team, shaking hands with each of them and giving them flowers, upon their landing.

The Vietnamese players and their coach, who won the 2018 Southeast Asian Cup last year, left Noi Bai for the headquarters of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) on a bus at around 3:00 pm.

They walked through a storm of cheering and a sea of waving hands from supporters, who surrounded the VIP A arrival hall hours before the team’s flight landed.

The players too waved at their fans and greeted them with broad smiles.

Coach Park Hang-seo greets the media upon his landing. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Coach Park Hang-seo greets the media upon his landing. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese players receive ‘lucky money’ from Minister of Sports Nguyen Ngoc Thien. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese players receive ‘lucky money’ from Minister of Sports Nguyen Ngoc Thien. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese players receive ‘lucky money’ from Minister of Sports Nguyen Ngoc Thien. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese players receive ‘lucky money’ from Minister of Sports Nguyen Ngoc Thien. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s football has repeatedly wowed fans at home and abroad since the beginning of 2018, when they reached the final of the AFC U-23 Championship and the semifinals of the Asian Games, and winning the AFF Cup that year.

The Golden Stars progressed to the knockout stage of the Asian Cup in the UAE as one of the four best third-placed teams. The Vietnamese proved they deserved to be among the continent’s top squads, when they beat Jordan 4-2 on penalties to reach the quarterfinals after extra time had failed to break a 1-1 deadlock on January 20.

Supporters now anticipate that coach Park Hang-seo will continue to work his magic with the Vietnamese players, so Vietnam will continue their amazing run and make the whole of Southeast Asia proud.

Vietnam's Quang Hai. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnam's Quang Hai. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Players leave for the VFF headquarters. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Players leave for the VFF headquarters. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Players leave for the VFF headquarters. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Players leave for the VFF headquarters. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese goalkeeper Van Lam speaks to reporters. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese goalkeeper Van Lam speaks to reporters. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Children wait to see the players outside Noi Bai airport. Photo: Khuong Xuan / Tuoi Tre
Children wait to see the players outside Noi Bai airport. Photo: Khuong Xuan / Tuoi Tre
Supporters wait to see the players outside Noi Bai airport. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Supporters wait to see the players outside Noi Bai airport. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Reporters and supporters wave goodbye at the players. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Reporters and supporters wave goodbye at the players. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Supporters wait to see the players outside Noi Bai airport. Photo: Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre
Supporters wait to see the players outside Noi Bai airport. Photo: Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre
The players arrived on the Vietnam Airlines flight VN A618. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
The players arrived on the Vietnam Airlines flight VN A618. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese players and their managers pose photo with officials. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese players and their managers pose photo with officials. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

With Vietnam celebrating its biggest public holiday, Tet, early next months, all the national footballers will leave the VFF headquarters after a brief meeting there for their respective clubs or hometowns.

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