National excitement as Vietnam march into SEA Games football final

By Staff reporters   December 10, 2019 | 02:43 am PT
National excitement as Vietnam march into SEA Games football final
Customers buy national flag stickers on a street in Hanoi to cheer for Vietnam at the SEA Games final Tuesday night. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dinh.
Fans are ready with flags and red T-shirts, and giant screens have been erected across the country, where excitement is extremely high for a possible historic SEA Games final.

In Hanoi, three LED screens and high-power loudspeakers have been installed in front of the Hanoi Opera House since Tuesday noon to serve over 10,000 Vietnamese fans who would cheer for the national team.

At Linh Dam urban complex in Hoang Mai District, a 45-square-meter screen has also been set up. 

Huyen Trang, who works at the complex, said her entire office would stay there tonight to watch the game together on the giant screen. She predicted Vietnam would win the gold medal with a 2-1 victory against Indonesia.

A screen is set up at Linh Dam residential area in Hanoi. Video by Gia Chinh.

It's 10 years since Vietnam's men last entered SEA Games football final, and the match starting 7 p.m. Tuesday will be their chance to win their first gold ever.

National flags of all forms - T-shirts, banners, stickers, have been selling like hot cakes all across the capital streets.

Minh Chau, 46, a shop owner in Hang Bong Street, said they have a special flag design for the final, which depicts coach Park Hang-seo and the U22 players. "It’s also our best-selling item today," Chau said.

In Saigon, two LED screens have been set up on the walking street Nguyen Hue.

"Around 10,000 people are expected to show up here," said a representative of the construction agency hired to install the screens.

All vehicles have been banned from going into Nguyen Hue starting 18:30 p.m., said Saigon's Department of Transport.

At Hoa Lu Stadium on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, District 1, a 55-square-meter LED screen has also been installed. The stadium could allow a maximum of 10,000 fans to watch the game together.

At the Youth Center on Pham Ngoc Thach Street, around 4,000 people have gathered in preparation for the match in front of a 25-square-meter LED screen.

The scene is no less heated in several universities and colleges of the southern metropolis. Over 7,000 students of Ton Duc Thang University would gather at their school’s stadium to cheer for the team and watch the game together.

From north to south, the football spirit heat has also been cranked to the max.

A billboard reading Burst of joy for the champion Vietnam is prepared in Dong Nai Province, which borders HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.

A billboard reading "Burst of joy for the champion Vietnam" is prepared in Dong Nai Province, which borders HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.

Not far from HCMC, at Vung Tau's Trung Vuong Flower Park, besides several LED screens and loudspeakers, a symbolic golden cup and a 40 square meter national flag have been set up as thousands of locals are expected to show up for the game.

At the Vo Van Kiet Park in Phan Thiet beach town in south central Vietnam, over 1,000 seats have been arranged ahead of the game. But the number of attendees is expected to be around 3,000. Shirts, banners and all sorts of accessories could be spotted along the festive streets in the town.

"I believe that with Park Hang-seo’s tutelage, the scoreboard could be 2-1 leaning for Vietnam," said Bui Dinh Huy Vu, a local.

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