Despite their best efforts to draw level, a VAR assisted penalty for Japan was enough to see Vietnam knocked out in the quarterfinal stage of the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
Japan had one goal ruled out – and rightly so – in the first half after captain Maya Yoshida headed a ball onto his own arm before it found its way into the net.
But in the second half, VAR turned ally to the Asian powerhouses as a foul on Ritsu Doan – which was initially disregarded by the referee – was then awarded a penalty upon review.
Doan stepped up to score the goal which would prove to be enough to see the Blue Samurais through to the semi finals and force the Golden Dragons out of the competition.
However, after being the only Southeast Asian team to make it to the quarterfinals, fans of Vietnam and even ASEAN as a whole, had nothing but love and pride for the team’s fantastic campaign.
Here are some of them:
ASEAN sole representative in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 quarter finals have been knock out by Japan 1-0.
— محمد حلمي™ (@hilmi_official) January 24, 2019
🇻🇳I applaud efforts of #Vietnam @afcasiancup 👏🇯🇵#Japan deserves the win, they're one of the strongest teams in #Asia, yet Vietnam fought vigorously, with determination. The #football level of the national team is improving, no wonder @affsuzukicup champs. Good job! #AFCAsianCup pic.twitter.com/KNSMKMwZOn
— Tomas Jevsejevas (@tjevsejevas) January 24, 2019
Ultimately, this has been a huge success for not just Vietnam 🇻🇳 football but Southeast Asian football ⚽️ as a whole. @afcasiancup 2019 will be remembered as the tournament in which ASEAN nations were not there just to make up the numbers. 👏🏼 R.E.S.P.E.C.T 🇹🇭 🇵🇭 🇻🇳 #AsianCup2019
— Kelvin Leong (@Kelvinleong29) January 24, 2019
AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019
Congrats Samurai Blue Japan👍👍👍
Vietnamese eleven's good fight was wonderful💪👍
🇻🇳 Vietnam 0 vs 1 🇯🇵 Japan
Aiming at the peak "Gannbare Nippon"!!!!!!!! https://t.co/VFjwWwJ7Ow
— Hajime Funayama (@haji0921) January 24, 2019
— Yoshi Shimada (@yoshinori25) January 24, 2019
Japan prevail. Still unconvincing, but I keep saying that. Vietnam can leave the tournament with their heads held high. Absolutely going places as a football nation. #VIEvJPN
— Ben Williams (@BenitoWill) January 24, 2019
— Harutsuki (@Fuyuhisame) January 24, 2019
that was so frustrating. vietnam were so so close to finding that equaliser. but im so excited to see where this vietnam team goes forward. #VIEvJPN
— Ahmed Yussuf (@ahmedyussuf10) January 24, 2019
— Lorenzo Del Carmen (@LorenzoDelC) January 24, 2019
— Nikhil Sharma (@nksky) January 24, 2019
— 💜ARMY_정국바라기 제시💜 (@jessie_jjk) January 24, 2019
#Vietnam 🇻🇳, you WON HEARTS & you will only grow from Strength to Strength.
Your "Youth Development" is your key to progress, which we lack here in India.
Really impressed, you have been exceptional throughout the tourney. 👏👏.
— arya (@Iam_Aryalok) January 24, 2019
— Jordan Kounelis (@JordanKounelis) January 24, 2019
— kuyagaol (@kuyagaol) January 24, 2019
Japan weather a late flurry from Vietnam as Ritsu Doan's VAR awarded penalty is the difference at the final whistle. The Samurai Blue advance to the semi-finals. Heartbreak for the Golden Dragons, a valiant effort in defeat.#Vietnam 🇻🇳 0-1 #Japan 🇯🇵#VIEvJPN #AsianCup2019
— Branko Belan (@BBelan) January 24, 2019
Vietnam's campaign may be at an end, but nobody can say they didn't deserve to be there after the last couple of showings. Got through to the knockout rounds just by virtue of fair play, but they can hold heads up high for every minute played. #AsianCup2019 #VIEvJPN #vietfootball
— Ryan Steele (ライアン) (@Steelinho) January 24, 2019
Vietnam played some wonderful football in this tournament. Shame they couldn't make their chances count in this one. They have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Park Hang-seo has done a magnificent job with them. #VIEvJPN #AsianCup2019
— Branko Belan (@BBelan) January 24, 2019
Tonight they’ve given Japan a very decent game in the #AsianCup2019 quarter-final #VIEvJPN Seven members of that 2016 squad are still in there now; none of them are older than 24 (only four in the whole squad are older than 25).
— Marc Harrison (@MarcLostBoyo) January 24, 2019
— Sun☀️ (@ffunsu_luv) January 24, 2019