Asian Cup: 1,000 Vietnamese fans in Dubai for Vietnam-Japan quarterfinal

By Doan Loan   January 24, 2019 | 03:36 am PT
Asian Cup: 1,000 Vietnamese fans in Dubai for Vietnam-Japan quarterfinal
Vietnamese fans on a flight to Dubai for the Asian Cup quarterfinal that sees Vietnam playing Japan on Thursday. Photo by VnExpress/Doan Loan
Hundreds of Vietnamese fans have flown to Dubai and join Vietnamese workers there to cheer their team against Japan tonight.

Tran Song Hai, vice president of the Vietnamese Football Fans Association, said aside from Vietnamese living and working in UAE and nearby nations, many fans have flown into Dubai from Vietnam for the match.

Early Thursday, Vietnam Airlines carried more than 300 Vietnamese fans from Hanoi to Dubai while the Emirates served two groups of 70 Vietnamese fans on the same route.

Leaving his home at 4 a.m. this morning for the airport, Nguyen Xuan Trung in Hanoi said he spent VND28 million ($1,200) on a one-day tour to Dubai to watch the game as soon as Vietnam beat Jordan on Sunday and broke into the quarterfinals of Asian Cup 2019.

"It’s a rare opportunity for Vietnamese football and as a big fan I could not miss it. Watching a game directly at the stadium, listening to the crowd, looking at the field would be far more exciting than watching it on TV," he said.

Afraid that traffic jams could cause him to miss his flight to Dubai, Nguyen Van Phuong from Hai Phong City, two hours east of Hanoi, arrived in Hanoi on Wednesday night.

It was a nice surprise for him, because he reunited with fans from the nation’s south that he had made friends with during journeys to the U23 Asian Cup final in China and the AFF Suzuki Cup final in Malaysia last year.

"I really like this generation of players because they always fight and do not hesitate when facing stronger opponents. I believe that the Vietnamese team can go further into the next round," he said.

Among those who have flown to Dubai for the coming game are parents of defender Doan Van Hau.

It is the very first time they are going abroad. They traveled more than two hours from Thai Binh Province to Hanoi at 1 a.m. to catch the flight.

"I believe that my son will contribute to helping his team beat Japan," said the father, Doan Quoc Thang.

The game against Japan kicks off in Dubai at 8 p.m. tonight (Hanoi time) and will be reported live.

The atmosphere at home is not less electric.

HCMC, the biggest city in Vietnam, has banned vehicles from entering a section of Le Duan, a major street in the downtown area, to set up five screens for broadcasting the game live.

This is the first time since 2007 that Vietnam has made it to the quarterfinals of Asian Cup.

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