Recalling the team’s path to the final match, the article wrote that Vietnam had defeated regional favourites like Australia and Iraq, and topped “money-soaked squads” from rich countries like Qatar.

In their third consecutive match that went to overtime, the team only lost to Uzbekistan in the last minute of the final match.

U23 Vietnam welcomed home by Vietnamese supporters. Photo:

Though they claimed no champion trophy, “their performance has garnered attention from around the world and shows promise for Vietnam’s football horizon,” the article affirmed.

“Vietnam's success proves you don't have to invest huge sums of money, but you do need time.”

Forbes said that in 2007, the Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF) cooperated with British club Arsenal FC and opened the Hoanh Anh Gia Lai academy which has trained players with technical competence, hard-tackling style, and athleticism.

“Nothing has changed about the academy except, ten years on, the number of academy players popping up at the top level,” the article wrote. Last year, on one U23 national side, nine of the 18 players came from the Hoang Anh Gia Lai academy.

The number of Vietnamese teams on the international level has also grown. Vietnam was Southeast Asia’s only representative at the FIFA U20 World Cup.

Therefore, according to Forbes, the only thing most people know about Vietnamese football is that “the youth team looks extremely promising”.

The Vietnamese football team became the runner-up at the AFC U23 Championship 2018 held in China after losing 1-2 to Uzbekistan in the final.

The team defeated Australia 1-0 in the group stage. They won over Iraq in the quarterfinals and Qatar in the semifinals with penalty shootouts.

Source: VNA