In 2018, the Vietnamese men's football team notched up a string of successes. They were runner up at the U23 Asian Cup, finished fourth in the Asian Games and won the AFF Cup. They start of the new year with a challenge that is at another, higher level. The AFC Asian Cup is the number one tournament in Asia. Vietnam had got through the group stage in the 2007 edition, and even made it to the quarter finals, but that year, they had a massive home advantage. Under current coach Park Hang-seo, Vietnam has defeated many bigger teams like Australia, Iraq, Qatar and Japan, but these were not the national teams. At the AFF Cup 2018, the team also beat big regional opponents like Malaysia and the Philippines. But, at the Asian Cup this year, Vietnam has been placed in group D with much stronger opponents like Iran, a World Cup 2018 participant, and Iraq, Asian Cup champions in 2007. Head coach Park Hang-seo in a team's training. Photo courtesy of AFC Vietnam has never beaten Iraq at the … [Read more...] about AFC Asian Cup: A modest, challenging goal for Vietnam
Losing a best friend
The reunion was emotional. The dog, Vang (Gold), repeatedly jumped up and kissed Tran Khac An. Punching his chest, the An looked up at the sky and smiled as though he could not stop. On December 7, two weeks after he lost Vang, a friend helped An find him again. Hugging the dog tightly, An could not help smiling, and put his hands on his heart to show his joy and happiness. He gave himself a "day off" to take care of the dog. This is not the first time that this loving pair is making news. Three years ago, a story about the friendship between the mute shoeshiner and the blind dog had spread across the country and touched the heart of millions of readers. The pet lovers community and many young people voted it as one of 20 most inspirational stories of the year in 2015. The same year, they were voted among the Top 10 inspirational characters of the year and honored on the stage of the WeChoice Awards gala. A wedding gift To welcome his best friend home, An had someone write … [Read more...] about Mute shoeshiner strikes Gold after losing best friend
Viet Nam News by Paul Kennedy For me, there’s nothing better than European football. Some of the greatest nights of my life have been watching my team play under the floodlights in the Champions or Europa Leagues. I’ve seen games in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Greece. When the Champions League anthem plays to greet the two teams on to the pitch shivers run down my spine. My love affair with European football started in the early 1980s. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of me tuning into the radio to hear commentary of Liverpool playing, and usually beating, teams with strange sounding names like Borussia Monchengladbach or Grasshopper Zurich. This week UEFA have announced they will be introducing a third European competition to run alongside the Champions and Europa Leagues. I should be, to coin a footballing phrase, over the moon. But in fact I’m finding myself as sick as a parrot. The plan is not to restructure the Champions League … [Read more...] about A third Euro competition? No thanks
Viet Nam News Paul Kennedy So due to time differences and the fact I wasn’t going to stay up until 4am to write this column, England will either be in the final of Sunday’s World Cup or not. I’m not going to stick my neck on the line and look foolish by predicting a winner, but I will say this… it will be either England or Croatia in the final. Setting aside winning or losing, this has been a remarkable, if not completely surprising, World Cup for my home nation. Yet despite equaling their best ever finish in 28 years, when they were knocked out in the semi-final on penalties by Germany at Italia 90, there still seems to be a group of ‘fans’ out there not happy. I’m not talking about the loyal supporters over in Moscow, or those who were no doubt crammed into a bia hơi earlier today cheering on those in white, I’m talking about the keyboard warriors, probably lacking in friends and general social skills, who sit in their … [Read more...] about To all you keyboard warriors, GET A LIFE!
Viet Nam News Hồ Hoàng With outdoor temperatures hitting 50 degrees, Hanoians are suffering from another severe summer. Each year is hotter than the last thanks to climate change. Unlike the heat of the World Cup, which is really exciting, this heat can actually burn you. In an experiment by VTV, candles melted under the afternoon sun in minutes. The sweltering weather is a daytime nightmare for employees, especially those outdoors. But luckily, tào phớ (soya bean curd) comes to the rescue as one of the best summer foods in Việt Nam. “On July 1st, there were too many customers to count, but I went through about 1,500 plastic cups used to hold the tào phớ. This wasn’t counting servings ot caramel and sweet soup,” said Lê Thu Nga, the owner of a summer food shop in Linh Đàm Market (in Hà Nội’s Hoàng Mai District). She explained that tào phớ helps to cool … [Read more...] about Staying cool with a bowl of tào phớ