Vietnamese players (in red) (Source: VNA)
In an article entitled “Vietnam dream ends as Japan benefit from VAR”, football website Fox Sports Asia wrote that despite being underdogs for the match, Vietnam’s players had shown remarkable determination in driving the ball forwards.
“The Vietnamese just found themselves with too big a hurdle to overcome against one of the tournament favourites, as they bowed out following a brave charge,” the author, football editor Gabriel Tan, added.
In particular, he lauded the performance of Vietnamese goalie Dang Van Lam, saying that he was in excellent form, parrying Genki Haraguchi’s cross-shot away from the bottom corner, before saving a shot from Takumi Minamino in a one-on-one situation.
Many newspapers praised Vietnam’s bravery against Japan in the quarterfinal match. The Sanspo said Japan faced tough opponents with solid defence. Vietnam were also quick to pull a dangerous counterattack with the noteworthy individual skills of striker Nguyen Cong Phuong, it added.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s The Star newspaper said Vietnam launched numerous attacks against Japan throughout the match. Notably, Cong Phuong may have had an opportunity to score in the 89th minute as he opened himself up, unmarked, just outside of the box, however he failed to equalize./.