| HANOI (July 18, 2007) – Vietnam is not taking the low road ahead of their clash against Iraq in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup 2007 this Saturday where they will be aiming for a place in the semi finals.
The Vietnam national team made the last eight of the competition this year when they finished their matches in Group B by coming in second behind defending champions Japan.
With their qualification, the co-hosts of the championship this year will travel to Bangkok where they will face Group A winners Iraq.
“It would be better if we played at home (at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi) in the match. Entering this round is a great success. I don’t dare to dream farther because we have to be practical, but nobody knows…,” remarked Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) chairman VFF Chairman Nguyen Trong Hy.
“But perhaps it is good that we have the goal of the semi-finals – win or lose. Our dream has finally come true with Vietnam going to the quarter-finals.”
Despite taking an eight minute lead from Phan Van Tai Em, Vietnam just could not hold back Japan’s foraging runs as they scored four goals off Seiichiro Maki (12th and 62nd minute), Yasuhito Endo (31st minute) and Shunsuke Nakamura (47th minute).
“We will immediately present the team with USD 18,700 while VFF patron Le Hung Dung will also award the team USD 3,000. Other patrons will surely give bonuses to the team after this achievement,” added Trong Hy.
“Frankly, the quality of our national team has been upgraded one level during this tournament. Entering the quarter-final round is an impressive achievement! Before this tournament nobody dared to think of this.”
PIC: Phan Van Tai Em celebrating Vietnam’s goal