News - December 11, 2018 | 01:08 am PT

AFF Cup: Football frenzy as Vietnamese fans flock to Malaysia

Hours before the AFF Cup first leg final kicks off, fans from across Vietnam were boarding flights to Malaysia.

From 4 a.m. Tuesday, thousands of football fans gathered at the T2 terminal at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi to board flights to Malaysia and cheer team in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup final.

Most of the fans wore red t-shirts with the yellow star.

The match will begin 7.45 p.m. at the Bukit Jalil national stadium in Kuala Lumpur. The stadium is the largest in Southeast Asia, capable of accommodating 88,000 fans. 

Several fans also carried conical hats decorated with Vietnam’s national flag.

A one-day tour price to Malaysia costs VND14 million ($601), including return air ticket, match ticket, tour guide, meals and transportation costs.

Two fans wearing red wigs pose for a photo at the airport lounge.

Tran Song Hai, vice president of the Vietnamese Football Fans Association, has cautioned Vietnamese fans to stay away from groups of Malaysian fans in black T-shirts. These fans are reputed for being violent and Vietnamese fans should seek police help if needed, Hai said.

A fan boy holds a bunch of match tickets.

Fans wait to complete flight procedures at the airport. 

Fans take a group selfie at the airport.

The Vietnam men’s football team advanced to the final of AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 after defeating the Philippines in both legs of the semifinal with identical scores of 2-1. Their opponents in the final, Malaysia, defeated Thailand in the other semifinal.

After today, both teams will meet again for the second leg of the final on Vietnam’s home ground at the My Dinh national stadium in Hanoi on December 15.

Story and photos by Ngoc Thanh

Watch fans in Hanoi celebrate Vietnam’s semifinal victory at the AFF Cup against the Philippines on December 6.