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Vietnam reach Asian Cup quarters

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Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Round of 16 - Jordan v Vietnam - Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - January 20, 2019 Vietnam's Dang Van Lam saves a penalty from Jordan's Ahmed Samir during the penalty shootout REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

DUBAI (Reuters) – Vietnam’s young guns guaranteed another night of frenzied celebrations back home when they beat Jordan 4-2 on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup after extra time had failed to break a 1-1 deadlock on Sunday.

It was a first knockout victory at the continental championship for Vietnam and set up a meeting with Japan or Saudi Arabia, both former champions, at the same stadium on Thursday. The match had finished all square after Jordan’s Baha Abdelrahman scored from an indirect free kick in the first half and Nguyen Cong Phuong equalised with a volley six minutes after the break.

Vietnam’s Russian-born goalkeeper Dang Van Lam was the hero of the shootout after he dived low to his right to save Ahmad Saleh’s effort, allowing Bui Tien Dung to coolly convert his spot kick for the victory.

“We got through to the round of 16 by the narrowest of margins so I really appreciate the players, they really did their best today,” Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo said.

“We don’t get as much support as other richer countries but we are one team and we fight together.” “It’s always difficult when you lose,” said Jordan’s coach Vital Borkelmans.

“But these guys are amazing, nobody believed in these guys before we came to the Asian Cup and they worked really hard but sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.”

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