Vietnam Airlines increases flights to Shanghai to serve football fans hinh anh 1U23 Vietnam footballers after their historic victory (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) – The national-flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will increase flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam to Shanghai (China) to serve spectators of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship.

Vietnam, the only ASEAN country advanced to the continental tournament’s semi-finals, will play Qatar on January 23.

The airline will also work with the Vietnamese Consulate General in Shanghai to carry Vietnamese supporters free of charge from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the venue of the match.

Vietnam continued their dream journey at the AFC U23 Championship after beating Iraq 5-3 in the penalty shootout on January 20 in Changsu, China.

[Vietnam beat Iraq for Asian U23 champs’ semi-finals]

Talented goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung denied a kick from an Iraqi player while all five Vietnamese players were successful with their finishes in the quarter-finals seesaw match - the only one happening in extra time and then penalties.

Earlier, in the official 90 minutes and nervous extra time, Vietnam drew 3-3 with the Asian powerhouse.

The Southeast Asian team’s striker Nguyen Cong Phuong opened the score in the first half, surprising not only their rivals but also the whole continent.

Iraq, the last championship’s bronze medalist, levelled the result with a penalty by striker Ayman Hussein some minutes later.

The second half saw efforts from both sides but none of them bagged more goals, leading the match to the extra time which saw two goals from both sides.

On January 20 evening right after the match, streets in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, and other localities nationwide were crowded with thousands of football lovers celebrating the win together with the national flag. The victory was said to lit up faith in local fans.-VNA