Deputy PM cries 'Vietnam still wins' despite defeat to Uzbekistan

By Staff reporters   January 27, 2018 | 06:12 am PT
Deputy PM cries 'Vietnam still wins' despite defeat to Uzbekistan
Vietnam's Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam reads the names of U23 football team players at My Dinh National Stadium on January 27, 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
The Vietnamese government has also awarded the entire U23 football team the first class Labor Order.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam came on stage at the end of the U23 Asian Cup final on Saturday and shouted "Victory for Vietnam" even though the national football team had lost 1-2 to Uzbekistan.

The deputy PM had joined 40,000 Vietnamese fans to watch the live broadcast at My Dinh National Stadium, despite the rain in Hanoi.

He went on to read the names of every football player in the team, which has become the source of national pride after it broke one record after another, marking the first time a Southeast Asian team qualified for the semifinal, let alone finishing second in the championship.

Deputy PM Dam previously took to the streets on January 23 when Vietnam won the semifinal against Qatar, surprising many fans around Hoan Kiem Lake. He wore red and waved the national flag alongside the mostly young crowd.

He once emphasized that Vietnamese football should be "beautiful, honest and precise", meaning players need to be trained not only on strategy, but also morality, culture, health and fitness.

Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh also cried out "Vietnam still wins", as he expressed his respect for the team.

"Competing for two hours with such strength is already amazing. Congratulations to the Vietnam U23 team! Taking second place is already a success. Vietnam still wins!," said Deputy PM Minh after the match.

Vietnam's Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh shares joy as Vietnam scores in the first half of the match

Deputy PM Minh and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs watched the live broadcast of the game from the ministry's new office on Le Quang Dao Street. Most officials wore red and brought national flags to cheer on the team.

"I was really touched and felt a sense of pride and respect for the national team, who were very calm and resilient in that weather," said Deputy PM Minh after the first half.

It was snowing throughout the match, and Vietnam had never played in the snow before.

Many fans could not hide their disappointment when Uzbekistan scored the winning goal in the last minute of extra time.

Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang signed yesterday a decision to grant the first class Labor Order to the entire U23 team, and third class Labor Orders to goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung and midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai for their excellent contributions to the 2018 U23 Asian Cup Championship in China.

South Korean coach Park Hang-seo was also awarded a third class Labor Order.

Vietnam's PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc also applauded the entire U23 team, including not only the players, but the coach, the technical director, the translator and the team doctor.

PM Phuc previously congratulated them on the win against Qatar in the semifinal, and after their victories over Iraq and Australia.

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