Park Hang-seo – Miracles come from Blood and Sweat, Vietnam can win

South Korean Park Hang-seo, the current manager of the Vietnamese U23 side which is currently competing in Asia’s national championship which is taking place in China for that age group. They dramatically reached the semi-final at the weekend, by knocking out one of the tournament's favorites Iraq in a penalty shootout. The game was a topsy-turvy affair as Vietnam took the lead, then Iraq went in front by making it 2-1 before Vietnam came back again and went 3-2 ahead with 6 minutes left but there was still time left for Iraq to equalize.

With the final score ending 3-3, the match went to penalties, with Vietnam coming out triumphant to become the first South East Asian team to ever qualify for the semi-finals. Park has mentioned in the press that the team cannot rest on their laurels of qualifying for the semi-final, stating that ‘Vietnam can win’, and ‘miracles come from blood and sweat’. By already beating Australia and Iraq, both of whom are regional powerhouses; Park and Vietnam have shown they can punch above their weight and match the big boys. However, Qatar so far has been the team of the tournament and will prove another tough task for the Vietnamese.

If Park manages to mastermind another unlikely success they will face more tough opposition in the final and face either his home nation - South Korea or Uzbekistan. Whatever happens in the match against Qatar on Tuesday January 23rd Park and his team have already gone down in Vietnamese history by becoming the first South East Asian side to qualify for the semi-finals of an international tournament.

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