by Danny White Print This Article
Despite the outpouring rain washed down on the My Dinh National Stadium hours prior the opening of the decisive match, it didn’t stop the impromptu victory party of hosts Vietnam on Sunday evening.
Vietnam wins gold
Over 40,000 supporters congregated at the venue to cheer for their national team who won the gold medal two times in a row. They celebrated the victory of Vietnam over the regional big leaguer Thailand with a score of 1-0 to be the defending champion of the SEA Games and are ready for the vòng loại world cup 2022.
Sounds of merriment broke out as the last whistle was blown, hugs and kisses were sought between friends and compatriots in the venue. Out on the streets of Hanoi, a sea of topless supporters waved their scarlet jerseys while shouting celebratory cheers.
Vietnam had all the rights and reasons to celebrate following a harrowing two years when Ho Chi Minh City and the greater South were locked down for months due to the outbreak of the pandemic. The lockdown forced the citizens to stay indoors as Vietnam tried their best to curb the cases of the Covid-19 virus.
On Sunday at the My Dinh National Stadium, the only significant event that happened was the 84th minute header that came from Ngam Manh Dung which is highly considered as the highlight of the match and the only important goal at that time.
A memorable victory
According to long-time football supporter Tran Van Long, it was the happiest moment that happened to him ever since the epidemic ravaged the nation two years ago. A few months before, Long was dismissed from his position as a receptionist in a local hotel, where he spent much of his career for six years. Currently, he works as a rider for the logistic service company Grab.
“I have never felt so much happier than this in my life. This is the reason why a lot of Vietnamese people are supporting the national football team for the World Cup 2022 because there are only a few things that make us feel happy.”
“I feel like I’m about to start to get emotional. This event somehow makes me forget about the Covid virus. I guessed I will not be able to sleep tonight because of the excitement,” Long said.
A national party
It was three years had passed since the football team of Vietnam beat Indonesia with a 3-0 score to claim their first ever gold medal in the sport. The event also started passionate celebrations in various places in the country.
Although this time, the party atmosphere was elevated with triumph again in the country as the party expanded from the arena to the streets of Hanoi.
During the final minutes after the game and the victory was confirmed, a lot of red flares were set alight on the main avenue just right outside of the My Dinh National Stadium, surrounding the area with black smoke.
The celebration was seen from Le Duc Tho street to the Old Quarter, which also caused a huge traffic as fans stepped outside of their vehicles to wave the Vietnam flag and make a celebratory honk.
The only mark of the pandemic that was seen was the several people who kept wearing their masks. However, social distancing was temporarily ditched aside for a night of football celebration.
According to one football fan Nguyen Manh Tu, he said that he didn’t mind when he soaked wet because of the rain on that night, what mastered to him is what he felt at that moment.
The national victory party marked the first time Vietnam celebrated a national achievement, following the repercussions of the pandemic in the country.
In the past, Vietnam has already won 204 gold medals across sports and disciplines such as the World Cup, however this one held a special sentimental value to the fans.