| HANOI (22 Dec 2008) – Vietnam citizens from all walks of life celebrated their national team’s win of a place in the final of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 by filling the streets of two major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City late last night.
It was Vietnam’s second only appearance in the final of the Asean biennial championship following their last qualification in 1998.
The streets around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi were completely red with thousands of people holding up flags and flowers with shouts of “Vietnam champion.”
Hundreds of motorbikes, carrying young people with flags, flowers, and banners, rode slowly through the major streets, to the cheers of thousands of people.
At the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake, a ten-member group, called ATW of the “Art Football” forum, performed football techniques to the sound of popular football songs, like “I love football” and “Italian Summer.”
By midnight, traffic and mobile police patrolled the major streets to ensure order and prevent motorbike races.
“It is easy to understand why people flocked to the streets. However, we have to prevent any untoward incidences. I hope everybody will celebrate the national squad’s victory safely,” said Lieutenant colonel Vu Van Ngoan of the Hanoi Police.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the Youth Cultural House and Turtle Lake were the destinations of football fans.
The area was also covered with flags, banners and flowers.
The Ben Thanh market area was a sea of people and motorbikes. They drove through major streets, like Le Loi, Nguyen Hue, Cach Mang Thang Ta, Dong Khoi and Tran Hung Dao, to cheer and celebrate the national team’s victory.
On Dong Khoi and Pham Ngu Lao roads, hundreds of foreign tourists were surprised about the special atmosphere.