Vietnam advance into AFC U-23 semis
South-east Asian side will meet Qatar in last four on Tuesday
|IRAQ 3||VIETNAM 3|
Vietnam kept the Asean flag flying high at the AFC U-23 Championship in Jiangsu, China, by advancing to the semi-finals on Saturday (Jan 20).
Vietnam pipped Iraq 5-3 on penalties, after both teams were deadlocked at 3-3 in extra time. They will meet Qatar in the last four on Tuesday.
Iraq and Vietnam were also tied a 1-1 at the end of regulation time, with Vietnam opening accounts through Nguyen Cong Phuong in the 12th minute, before Iraq equalised through a 29th-minute penalty by Aymen Hussein.
Hussein made it 2-1 four minutes into extra time, but Vietnam were quick to turn the tables, with goals by Phan Van Duc (108th) and Ha Duc Chinh (112th).
Iraq, however, were not done yet as Alaa Mhawi struck from a tight angle, sending the game into a shoot-out.
During the penalties, Iraq's first kicker Bashar Resan was left to rue his attempt to float his penalty down the middle. His attempt was easily collected by Vietnam goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung.
Resan's penalty was the only unsuccessful attempt, as Vietnam held on for a 5-3 win.
Vietnam coach Park Hang Seo told the AFC website: "I want to present this win to all football fans in Vietnam, and I want to thank the Vietnam Football Federation and everyone who has supported football in Vietnam. Before the match I told the players that our mission was not easy, but that we had the team spirit and the determination of the players who will never stop until the final whistle."
Vietnam had finished second in Group D, where they had drawn 0-0 with Syria, beaten Australia 1-0 and lost 2-1 to group winners South Korea.
South Korea, who defeated Malaysia 2-1 in another quarter-final, will meet Uzbekistan in the other semi-final on Tuesday.