President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Moon Jae-in (L) presents a ball with his signature to Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Moon Jae-in and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam engaged in an exchange with Vietnam’s U23 football team - the runner-up of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship, and its RoK head coach Park Hang-seo in Hanoi on March 22.

President Moon Jae-in and his spouse started their three-day State visit to Vietnam on the same day. This is the first official visit to Vietnam by President Moon Jae-in.

Welcoming President Moon and his spouse’s meeting with the team, Deputy PM Dam underscored that cooperation between the two countries in sports has been encouraging over the past years.

He affirmed that Vietnam highly values the significance of sports, culture and tourism partnership with the RoK within the overall development of the Vietnam-RoK Strategic Cooperative Partnership.

He held that the excellent performance and achievements of the U23 team at the AFC U23 Championship 2018 not only gave Vietnamese at home and abroad a big thrill, but also contributed to fostering the friendship between Vietnamese and RoK people.

For his part, President Moon expressed his impressions of the Vietnam U23 team’s high record at the AFC U23 Championship under the training of head coach Park Hang-seo.

He said he hopes the team will keep up the spirit and devotion they showed in the AFC U23 Championship and gain further achievements at regional and international sport tournaments.

During the exchange, President Moon and his spouse as well as Deputy PM Dam took part in interesting activities such as shooting the ball with coach Park Hang-seo and U23 Vietnam captain Xuan Truong.

President Moon and Deputy PM Dam exchanged the ball and uniform of their national football teams and took a picture together U23 Vietnam and the Vietnam Women’s team at the end of the exchange.

Earlier the same day, the Vietnam Football Federation and the Korea Football Association signed an agreement on promoting the cooperation between the two countries in human resources, youth training and other issues related to football.

U23 Vietnam surprised the world when they only lost out in the last minute of the final match to Uzbekistan at the AFC U23 Championship in China.

The team defeated Australia 1-0 in the group stage. They won over Iraq in the quarterfinals and Qatar in the semifinals with penalty shootouts.-VNA