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Nothing Raises More Jubilation

VIETNAM | Sunday, 4 January 2009 | Views [621]

Nothing raises more jubilation than a hard fought victory. The conservative attitudes of the Vietnamese nation were thrown out the window last night following their dramatic victory over Thailand in the AFF Suzuki Cup. What followed were scenes of insanity. Traffic stopped and nationals clustered together bottlenecking all the roads downtown.

I happened to be standing in the backpacker area at the edge of District 1. After watching Vietnam’s 90th minute equalizer go in on the TV in a restaurant little could I expect the drama that unfolded. The table service went up shit creek, with several platters of unordered meat lain in front of me. The staff literally went berserk pressing each other’s heads to their sweaty bosoms. Guests were forgotten about for a short period whilst quite understandably they savored the greatest sporting moment in the country’s history.

Having been unable to beat Thailand for fifty years, their victory and crowning as champions brought sheer ecstasy to millions of people. Foreigners even got in on the action, bedecking themselves with red flags, headbands and t-shirts and jumping up and down in the arms of their new adopted nation. The chaos endured late into the night with revelers speeding around on motorbikes sounding horns, waving flags and spraying water everywhere.

Kevin Keegan once commented on England’s legendary 4-1 victory over the Netherlands in Euro 96’ ‘anyone watching who fell asleep before half time must think they’ve died and gone to heaven’. Such words could never have been more fitting for the occasion. Deep in the midst of the salty air and red tinged night, unaware foreigners arrived with bags and cases fearing a Communist uprising. With people clambering on cars, banging metal pots and pans and breaking into spontaneous dancing, the scene looked more surreal than threatening. Victory is sweet indeed.

Tags: crazy, football, sport, suzuki cup, thailand, victory, vietnam

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