PETALING JAYA - There was plenty of goodwill between Malaysian and Vietnamese football fans after Harimau Malaya triumphed in the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup Thursday night.
Any animosity triggered after the assault on a Vietnamese fan during the first leg in Shah Alam on Sunday was buried as both sides of supporters shared congratulatory messages and well wishes for the other.
Despite losing the contest 5-4 on aggregate, Vietnamese supporters were gracious in defeat and commended the Malaysian team on their victory.
"Congratulations Malaysia from Vietnam," Tran Anh Tung posted to the AFF Suzuki Cup official Facebook page.
This prompted several responses from Malaysian fans, who labelled Thursday's hosts the "Barcelona of ASEAN" following their first-leg heroics, where they beat the Malaysian side 2-1.
"Dont' be sad, friend. You must be proud of your Barca team. They prove it at the last minute. Amazing!" said a Facebook user who goes by the profile name of Say Bye.
"Don't be sad. It's just a game and you guys did great. Peace from Malaysia," wrote Che Izwan.
Another commenter, Salam Seekers, said Vietnam had already triumphed over Malaysia through its kindness.
"Actually Vietnam already won this match. Salute. Vietnamese killed Malaysians with their kindness," he wrote.
Wan Abdul Izzat shared a similar sentiment, saying that Malaysia "wins the game, but Vietnam wins our heart."
There were also plenty of apologies from Malaysian supporters for the incident in Shah Alam, which had marred a heroic performance from the Vietnam side, who had emerged 2-1 winners.
Muhammad Syahir wrote: "Thank you to all Malaysian supporters, thank you Vietnam fans...we are so sorry about last week."
"Thank you Vietnam the beautiful country. Sorry for the incident in Shah Alam," commented Facebook user Isyq' Irfan.
Evidently, there were no longer any ill feelings as the Vietnamese fans took the defeat in their stride, showing great sportsmanship in the process.
"Congratulation you and your team, Malaysia. Today, you are better. Let's keep the friendship of Vietnam and Malaysia forever," said Vietnam fan Nhut Nhep Nhai.
Malaysia won the second leg 4-2 at the My Dinh stadium in Hanoi to advance to the finals of the tournament, where they will face Thailand.
They previously won the cup in 2010.