FIFA and AFC impressed with “spirited” Vietnam at Futsal World Cup

Thursday, 2021-09-23 12:43:34
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Nguyen Dac Huy (No. 9) celebrates with teammates after scoring Vietnam’s first goal during the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 Round of 16 match between Football Union of Russia and Vietnam at Vilnius Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania, on September 22, 2021. (Photo: FIFA)
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NDO – The world football governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) expressed their impression of the Vietnamese futsal team’s fighting spirit after they were narrowly defeated 3-2 by reigning runners-up Russia in Round 16 of the 2021 Futsal World Cup on Wednesday night.

Against such a superior opponent in terms of class as Russia, Vietnam still played confidently. Despite losing to the No. 4 team in the world, the Vietnamese team can leave Lithuania with their “heads held high”, as said by FIFA in its post-match report.

“Vietnam lost 7-0 to Russia in the Round of 16 at Colombia 2016, many predicted a similar thrashing and, sure enough, they raced into a 2-0 lead. But not only was the Vietnamese response immediate, it was historic,” FIFA wrote.

Robinho opened the score for Russia in the 11th minute. Seven minutes later, Chishkala widened the gap to 2-0.

But Vietnam played more confidently towards the end of the first half and they proved worthy with a goal by Dac Huy’s header from a very fast counterattack to the surprise of the Russians.

“Ho Van Y released an inch-perfect throw up field, the ball was knocked across the goal and Nguyen Dac Huy headed it home en route to a pride-instilling 3-2 defeat,” FIFA said.

The goal was impressive enough for FIFA as it quoted its technical expert Miguel Rodrigo from the FIFA Technical Study Group: “It was an amazing goal, absolutely fantastic. A header assisting a header is something you barely ever see.”

The AFC also expressed its impression for the “valiant” Vietnamese side during the match, saying that “Vietnam gave it their best”.

Russian started on the front foot but struggled to find the back of the net against a defensive Vietnam side, it said, especially keeper Ho Van Y continuously denied the Russian side.

Even after conceding two goals, the Golden Star Warriors remained determined in the hunt for a goal against stronger rivals.

“Vietnam, however, immediately responded through Dac Huy’s effort to reduce the deficit, with goalkeeper Ho Van Y playing his part in keeping the Southeast Asian side in the game for the remainder of the half,” AFC said.

“Despite Chishkala striking Russia’s third goal home with 10 minutes left in the game, Vietnam refused to give up, with Pham Duc Hoa pulling one back in the 39th minute”, AFC wrote, “but the Russian side hung on to advance to quarter-finals.”


Vietnam futsal team has become the pride of fans with an impressive and emotional performance in the world futsal arena. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

After the match, even the Russian had to applauded Vietnam’s spirit for their impressive performance against the team ranked 35 places above them in the world’s rankings.

"They are getting stronger each year and today they refused to give up, fought till last seconds. Every game in the World Cup is difficult. Our emotions are good now because we’ve taken another step closer to our target,” Russian player Ivan Milovanov said, as quoted by FIFA.

Duc Hoa’s goal to shorten the score to 2-3 for Vietnam boosted the team’s spirits. They continuously put pressure on the Russian goal, making them confused by the powerplay tactic in the final minutes.

However, the Vietnamese team could not do any better. Even so, the 2-3 loss still made the red shirt boys leave the tournament with pride.

Tran Van Vu, Vietnam captain, expressed his team’s proud during the campaign, saying that they had their most successful World Cup campaign.

"We are very proud of our performance at the FIFA Futsal World Cup. We have given our best for our fans and our nation. This is the highest-level competition in the world, and we have produced our most successful campaign,” Vu said to FIFA.com.

It can be seen that, although Vietnam futsal team has not been able to improve their results compared to the first World Cup in 2016, but at least twice scored against the world runner-up and narrowly lost to only 1 goal difference has shown that Vietnam have made great strides ahead to return home with their heads held high.

To encourage the team and recognise their efforts and dedication, the Standing Committee of the Vietnam Football Federation decided to reward the team with an additional VND500 million.

Previously, the team were also awarded a total of VND 1.5 billion after making through from the group stage.

Tomorrow, the team will take a flight home from Vilnius. Head coach Pham Minh Giang is being quarantined for Covid-19 treatment, so he will take a flight home after testing negative for SARS-CoV-2.

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TRUNG HUNG