Football from South East Asia always brings us an excitement and a feeling of something different. The colorful fans, sounds and unusual playing style are always adding different flavors for the Asian Cup.
After the harsh defeat of Thailand against India and the expected Korean win against The Philippines, Vietnam was the team that the whole region hoped will guard the honor of the region.
In their game against Iraq, Vietnam showed why they are one of the rising football powers in Asia. It's not only the AFF Suzuki Cup trophy they won last month. During 2018, Vietnam reached the U-23 Championship final and finished in the fourth place at the Asian Games.
Today, in their game against Iraq, Vietnam was not so far from winning or at least end this game with their first point in the tournament. One of the players that impressed more than others in this match was Nguyen Cong Phuong, who scored the second goal for Vietnam. Except from scoring, he performed well and more than once he challenged the Iraqi side.
Even though Vietnam failed to win, they can be optimistic for their next games. As Vietnam are clear underdogs against Iran, they will probably try to qualify for the next stage as one of the best third-placed teams. With a defeat by one goal and two goals that they scored, they had an important advantage in this race. Moreover, their last match will be against Yemen and they might know the necessary result in order to qualify.
Vietnam's last achievements are all results of hard work and the right guidance. If they will keep doing it, moments like Ali Adnan's free kick, that were an evidence for how naive the team was, will be no more than an old memory. This generation of Vietnamese players have an opportunity to make greater performances, will they take this chance?