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We are proud of what we have achieved, says Vietnam skipper

Changzhou: Vietnam captain Luong Xuan Truong has praised his team for a well fought campaign and is proud of their achievement despite losing to Uzbekistan in the AFC U23 Championship China 2018 final on Saturday. 

In a match between equals, Uzbekistan opened the scoring in the eighth minute but Nguyen Quang Hai’s 41st minute equaliser pushed the game into extra-time.

Vietnam, however, suffered heartbreak almost at the end as substitute Andrey Sidorov scored the winner for Uzbekistan in the final minute of extra-time to settle the outcome of a match played in wintry conditions.

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“I feel sad, but we are proud of what we have achieved,” said the 22-year-old Xuan Truong.

“To have reached this far into the tournament, we have proved that we are one of the best teams in Asia, and we can compete against the top teams in Asia.

“Today is a lesson for Vietnam, and in the future, I hope Vietnam can go further.”

The Changzhou Olympic Sports Center was graced with the presence of thousands of Vietnamese supporters, who have travelled up north despite the chilly conditions to cheer their team.

The Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC midfielder was grateful for their undying support.

“I feel amazed. We were really happy to see them in the stadium. They have always tried to support us and brought along a significant energy.

“I hope they didn’t catch a cold. Once again, I want to say ‘thank you’.

“I want the supporters to keep supporting us and in the future, we will try to bring Vietnam further.”

Xuan Truong vowed to better himself with his club in the V.League, and already has his eyes set on the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation Cup in November.

“I will try to improve and perform with my club.

“As for the national team, we have AFF Cup to look forward to, and we will try to win the tournament.”

Photos: AFC