Thailand has been our biggest rival in football for decades. Believe it or not, I've always wished for Vietnam to beat them since I was 6. Why? Because my dad promised me some ice-cream if we would win and it never happened.
Many of you might find it ridiculous when streets were filled with people celebrating the victory last night. It wasn't a final, not even a semi or quarter one, so why did people look so overjoyed? For many of us, the match was somehow as important as the final. After so many years, finally we could hold up our heads, get rid of the nightmare called Thailand. You might say it's petty, but if you know how long we have waited for it, you might change your mind.
The history of Vietnamese football marks just so many times our team was defeated by Thailand. We came all the long way to the final and the history was repetitive: They took the trophy, the gold one. It has been 21 years since we beat them, becoming the champions of AFF Cup 2008. However, 2 decades is too much for our patience. We gradually lost hope. The last drop was 0 - 3 against Thailand in SEA Games 2017, which eliminated Vietnam right from the group stage. But miracles happened, or to be exact, Park Hang Seo appeared! We rose up from continuous failures, we proved to the world everything can happen as long as you work hard and smart. We were runner-ups at 2018 AFC U-23 Championship, top 4 at 2018 Asian Games and top 8 at 2019 AFC Asian Cup. But a direct match against Thailand is always what we want, and it's understandable. And last night was the result we have been looking for 21 years, that finally they don't come up as a nightmare anymore, that from now on we can lift our chin up as a strong team from SEA, and that, for some personal reason, my dad will have to think twice before offering a bet.
I have seen many people complain about the celebrations. It might be annoying but we don't have that many chances to celebrate that hard. You can instead enjoy it with us, you know, maybe the next time you see us go that crazy is when we can be qualified for World Cup.