750,000 votes and counting for Vietnam star Nguyen Quang Hai’s strike in AFC U23 Championship iconic goal poll
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) recently shortlisted eight goals from all three previous editions of the AFC U23 Championship on its website for fans from across the world to pick the most iconic one.
Those eight goals are Zakaria Al Sudani for Saudi Arabia versus Uzbekistan from 2014, Abdelkarim Hassan for Qatar versus China PR in 2016, Ahmed Al Sarori for Yemen verus Uzbekistan in 2016, Mehdi Torabi for IR Iran versus China in 2016, Omar Maanasrah for Jordan versus Vietnam in 2016, Shoya Nakajima for Japan versus Iran in 2016, Azizjon Ganiev for Uzbekistan versus Korea Republic in 2018 and Nguyen Quang Hai for Vietnam versus Uzbekistan in 2018.
However, surprisingly, it is Quang Hai’s strike that is running away with the win in the AFC poll having collected around 770,000 votes at the time of this writing. Iran star Torabi’s goal is a distant second with close to 125,000 votes.
The Vietnam superstar’s strike came in the 2018 AFC U23 Championship final against Uzbekistan at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Centre in China.
Vietnam were trailing the Uzbeks to an early goal from Rustam Ashurmatov on a snowy evening in Changzhou when the Hanoi FC attacker stepped up to take a free kick and curled it into the top corner to make it 1-1 before the half-time break.
However, Vietnam had to settle for a bronze medal in 2018 after Uzbekistan scored the winner in the final minute of extra time.
The poll is being conducted by the AFC in the build up to the 2020 AFC U23 Championship to be hosted by Thailand from January 8 to 26.