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'Asian Hiddink' sparks rare success for Southeast Asian team

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) Southeast Asian soccer is making positive news for a change with historic performances at the continental under-23 championships, spearheaded by a coach nick-named "The Asian Hiddink."

Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo is the toast of the country after leading the team to the semifinals. Park was a member of Guus Hiddink's coaching staff when South Korea reached the 2002 World Cup semifinals - a run that had millions of Koreans gathering in the streets to support the national team's progress in the tournament it was co-hosting with Japan.

On Saturday it was the turn of Vietnam fans to celebrate in the streets and plazas after a famous quarterfinal win over Iraq. From the country's�ubiquitous�scooter riders waving flags to�Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, there were hearty congratulations for the team.


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