Back the Golden Dragons: Southeast Asia unites as Vietnam fly the ASEAN flag at AFC Asian Cup 2019

With Vietnam the only team flying the ASEAN flag in the quarterfinal stages of the AFC Asian Cup 2019, we think it might just be the time for the whole of Southeast Asia to set their rivalries aside for a while and rally behind the Golden Dragons

There might be fierce rivalries running between the nations, but the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) was always intended to uplift the sport in the region. Just like the AFF logo which symbolises its member associations holding together Southeast Asia, the SEA nations have, over the years, lifted each others’ level through healthy competition.

And with AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 champions Vietnam the sole representative from ASEAN still alive in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 which is taking place in the United Arab Emirates, this might be the time for Southeast Asia to show the whole world that they are indeed together by standing behind one of their own as they hunt for some Asian Cup glory.

Here, we take a look at the fan sentiments ringing around the region as Park Hang-seo’s boys look to continue their fairytale run in the continental championship.

Vietnam proud of their warriors!

“The Vietnam national football team has experienced growth like never before in the past couple of years.

Things weren’t looking that bright for the Golden Dragons after a disappointing campaign in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. But then, a man from the distant South Korea arrived and changed everything for our nation.

For us, Park Hang-seo is the great wizard who with his golden touch took Vietnam to success after success in every tournament there is!

From that snow-filled day in Changzhou where we fought bravely for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship to giving the coach’s own home nation a scare in the semifinals of the Asian Games 2018 and then finally tasting some success by winning only our second AFF Suzuki Cup last December, we can only hope that the team will continue like this and bring more success in the future starting with the Asian Cup 2019.”

Thailand backs Vietnam setting aside Asian Cup disappointment 

“Our War Elephants suffered a heartbreak after exiting the tournament with a defeat to China, but they did well to recover from an early set back and achieve some good results on their way to the last 16 phase.

With Philippines also bowing out of the competition earlier in the group stages, it is now Vietnam who are left as the only ASEAN country in the biggest football competition of the continent.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Thailand backs Vietnam

We believe that the Golden Dragons are creating a new history for themselves as well as the ASEAN region in the Asian Cup. And we think it is time that we throw our support behind them because they deserve it.

We are proud of you Vietnam and we wish your team the best of luck in the competition. The fighting spirit they have displayed and their willingness to work harder as well as their teamwork is something every one can learn and should be respected.
hope Vietnam have a good luck

Vietnam’s heroics bring hope for Cambodia

Cambodia have had another disappointing year in footballing terms, however they might do good if they draw inspiration from the Golden Dragons. 

As ASEAN brothers, we are happy to see Vietnam through to the next round of the Asian Cup. They indeed are the hope of the whole ASEAN in this prestigious continental championship.

Cambodia and Vietnam have enjoyed some intense battles between each other over the years, but their performance in the group stages and the Round of 16 were things that made everyone in ASEAN proud.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Cambodia backs Vietnam

Now, we believe they can progress one more step further as they have proven they can compete with some of the best teams already. The Southeast Asian champions have deadly attackers and a strong defence. And their coach is someone who can improve any team and give them the confidence to produce results.

Keep going Vietnam, you are the hope of ASEAN Football.

Myanmar believes Japan beatable! 

Vietnam are going to play against Japan in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 quarterfinals. And with Vietnam being the only team from ASEAN to reach the quarterfinals, it’s giving hope to countries across ASEAN region — showing them that we all can aim for the highest of targets.

Obviously, the football fans from all ASEAN countries and also from here in Myanmar are ready to support Vietnam in the upcoming quarterfinal against the Samurai Blue.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Myanmar backs Vietnam

Myanmar fans have always had high regard for Vietnam’s skills and abilities. The team’s strong moral and unity have attracted the audience here after their progression to the Asian Cup knockout stages. And we believe it to be true for every other ASEAN country as well because.

They now face one of the best teams in Asia, but Japan are yet to rise to their best in this Asian Cup so far. And we believe that the Golden Dragons might just have a good chance to progress if it turns out to be their day!

Philippines happy to grow with ASEAN football

With Vietnam the only ASEAN team left in the AFC Asian Cup, supporters of the Philippine Azkals will undoubtedly cheer for the Golden Dragons as they represent the very best that the region has to offer.

Vietnam and the Philippines have had history in the international stage with the Vietnamese eliminating the Azkals in the recently-concluded AFF Suzuki Cup 2018. However, it was the Azkals who got wins over Vietnam in the 2010 edition when the Golden Dragons were holders, and again in 2012 that meant Vietnam failed to advance from their group.

Despite all these epic battles, the healthy camaraderie among ASEAN countries should still rise to the top and in turn, Vietnam’s victories in the AFC Asian Cup only goes to show how improved ASEAN nations are, including the Philippines.

Philippines have been a team on the rise in recent years and we are only happy to be growing together with the other nations in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam achieving all that Malaysia has been dreaming of

Vietnam. What can we even say about them? They’ve been an absolute revelation in the Asian Cup, getting into the quarter-final, where they are slated to play against Asian heavyweights, Japan.

As Malaysians, the pain from the AFF Suzuki Cup final defeat is obvious still fresh but bottom line is that we lost to a really talented team, that’s setting plenty of positive standards for Southeast Asian football. And that’s absolutely worth celebrating.

None of this has been a short term fix. In recent times, Vietnam qualified for the U-20 World Cup, made it to the final of the AFC U-23 Championship, semis of the Asian Games, won the AFF Suzuki Cup and are now strutting their stuff amongst the best in Asia. Malaysians have dreamed of this for ages, but Vietnam are accomplishing it. They’re getting it done. And they’re not done.

A small step for Vietnam, is a huge step for Southeast Asian football. Football is a game of impression. Here’s to hoping Vietnam’s success on the international front leaves a huge impression on the Malaysian football spectrum.

Rivals for long, but Indonesia hoping the best for Vietnam

Indonesia and Vietnam are close friends yet huge rivals in football. There was a time when Vietnam scared Indonesia in the AFF Cup. Remember the “Sepakbola Gajah” scandal in the Tiger Cup during the late 1990ss? Yes! Thailand and Indonesia were afraid to face the Golden Dragons in the tournament that led to the scandal where both the teams played to avoid Vietnam.

But that’s a glimpse of a how good Vietnam football has been and is. They have always given the Garuda a tough challenge over the years and also have matches us when ti comes to the fandom and atmosphere in the home stadiums.

Now, their football is growing, even faster than Indonesia. While the Garuda are walking, Vietnam are running like flash! From their performances in the Asian Cup, we will have to admit they play some of the best football in Southeast Asia along with Thailand.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Indonesia backs Vietnam

We believe Vietnam can make SEA proud with what they achieve in the Asian Cup 2019 — even before the start of the tournament, there was a feeling they were the ones who could make a bigger impact among the three ASEAN teams.

Good luck Vietnam! Make Southeast Asia proud and beat Japan with your players’ talent and coach’s tactics!

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