A heroic defensive showing by Vietnam was enough to earn a point.
Vietnam’s U23 football team has made history at the AFC U23 Championship, and the achievement has not gone unnoticed across the globe.
The team on Wednesday secured itself a place in the quarterfinals of the tournament thanks to a goalless draw with Syria.
“Brave Vietnam reach quarterfinals” is how FoxSportsAsia described the team's achievement.
Despite coming up against tremendous pressure from the Syrians at the Changshu Stadium, a heroic defensive showing by Vietnam was enough to earn a point, it said.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) itself said the Vietnamese team's defending during the game was “excellent”.
Syria needed to beat Vietnam to have any hope of reaching the quarterfinals, and despite being a constant threat were unable to break the deadlock.
In the remaining match in group D, South Korea defeated Australia 3-2 and secured a ticket to the quarterfinals by topping the group with 7 points. Vietnam finished second with 4 points, while Australia (3 points) and Syria (2 points) were eliminated.
This is the first time Vietnam has reached the quarterfinals in the history of the competition. Along with Malaysia, who qualified following a historic win over Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, they are also the first Southeast Asian teams to achieve this feat.
Thailand’s Siam Sports said Vietnam and Malaysia are now the pride of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, while Thairath said the achievement was “really good” and that Vietnam’s football team had even surpassed Thailand to lead the Southeast Asian region.
Vietnam has made history, said football news site Goal.
The FourFourTwo site shared the same idea, saying Vietnam had made history by taking second place in group D to follow South Korea into the next round.
Vietnam will face Iraq in the quarterfinals on Saturday, who won the tournament in 2013 and finished third in 2016.
The other quarterfinalists are Japan, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Palestine, South Korea and Malaysia.