South Korean expats root for Vietnam, expect close match

By Bao Ngoc, Dat Nguyen    August 29, 2018 | 07:45 am GMT+7

South Koreans, including expatriates, feel Vietnam will be a tough Asiad semifinal opponent, especially under a coach from their country.

“Although I am a Korean, I want Vietnam to win,” said Oh Se Deok, branch director of a massage device supplier in Hanoi.

He was, of course, referring to the upcoming men’s football semifinal match between Asian Games defending champions South Korea and Vietnam. The game will be reported live from 4 p.m.

The Asian Games is the world's second biggest multiple sports event, after the Olympics. This year’s edition, held in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia, has drawn 16,000 competitors and officials from 45 nations.

As a businessman who has been working in Vietnam for two years, Oh said his happiness would be complete if Vietnam goes on to become the Asian Games champions, just as his national team did in 2014.

“Winning the Asian Games will make Vietnam one of the top teams in Asia, bringing them closer to the next World Cup,” Oh said.

Korean expats join the crowd to support Vietnamese team in the quarterfinal match against Syria. Photo by VnExpress. 

Korean expats join the crowd to support Vietnamese team in the quarterfinal match against Syria. Photo by VnExpress

Other Koreans that VnExpress International spoke to also showed a lot of support for Vietnam.

Kim Hye-lin, a university student in Seoul, South Korea, noted the effort that the Vietnamese team had shown in the recent matches.

“They never give up and that's why they have been winning,” she said.

Na Byeong Gun, a Hanoi resident, said he believed good things will come out should Vietnam win the match.

“If Korea loses this match with Vietnam, they could learn a lesson and improve for the better,” he explained.

Noh Woo Jung, who’s studying Vietnamese at a university in Hanoi, said that she wanted to show support for both teams.

She said she isn’t too concerned about which team will win the match. “I just hope they play a wonderful game,” she said.

Hong Soon Gun, branch director of a logistics company in Hanoi, said that he was impressed with the Vietnamese players’ performances in recent matches.

“I think the Vietnamese team is really tough. They are good players,” he said.  

But Hong also believed that his team would win the match. “I think Korea will be the winner,” he said, predicting a 2-1 scoreboard.

Leading Vietnam into the semifinal is coach Park Hang-seo, a former member of the South Korean national team, who won the second-best player title in 1979.

Kim So Jung, another university student in Korea, referred to Park as the second Guus Hiddink, a Dutch coach who led the South Korean team to the semifinal of World Cup 2002.

“Because of coach Park, Vietnam will not be an easy opponent for Korea,” she said.

Oh said that having coach Park was both a pro and con for Vietnam in the upcoming match.

Coach Park will understand the strategy that Korea may apply and get Vietnamese players to prepare for it, but the “Korean team also knows coach Park, so this will be a disadvantage for Vietnam,” he felt.

However, Oh continued to repose confidence in Vietnam’s victory. “My staff and I are going to have a party as soon as Vietnam wins,” he said.

 
 
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