1967 South Vietnam Independence Cup

The 1967 South Vietnam Independence Cup (Vietnamese: Cúp Quốc Khánh 1967) was an invitational men's association football tournament[3] hosted by South Vietnam and played in Saigon during the Vietnam War by national teams from mostly anti-communist nations that supported the American war effort. The tournament was meant to be as a propaganda exercise.[1]

1967 South Vietnam Independence Cup
Tournament details
Host countrySouth Vietnam
Dates4–14 November 1967[2]
Venue(s)Cong Hoa Stadium[1]
Final positions
Champions Australia (1st title)
Runners-up South Korea
Third place South Vietnam
Fourth place Malaysia
Tournament statistics
Matches played16
Goals scored62 (3.88 per match)

The tournament had previously been held annually since 1961, though only involving South East Asian nations. It was New Zealand's first international tournament[4] and it was to become Australia's first honour in international football. The Australian team toured South East Asia before and after the tournament, winning all ten matches. Eight of the team's players went on to be part of Australia's 1974 FIFA World Cup squad, but their achievement in Saigon was largely overlooked back home.[5]

Matches at Cong Hoa Stadium and training at an army base adjacent to a mine-field were conducted under armed guard[1][4] and the teams also trained on their hotel roof.[6] The tournament was held during monsoon season and many matches were rainy and muddy.[6][5] Attendance was around 20,000–40,000 per match. There was unrest at some matches involving Australia: tear gas was deployed for the semi-final against Malaysia and security had to break up a brawl between the teams[7] and the team had rocks thrown at them after they beat the hosts; the vice-president of South Vietnam had promised his team a bonus at half-time to no avail.[4][6] The final nearly did not take place after Australian military personnel were kept from being spectators until the team threatened a boycott.[5] Despite the previous hostility, the local crowd supported Australia over South Korea in the final. The coach of the Australian team had agreed to let them keep their tracksuits if they won.[6]

The teams complained about the food and conditions at the Caravelle Hotel,[2] where all the teams stayed.[1][4] An example was when an Australian player was non-fatally electrocuted by a power socket.[8] There may have been a foiled plot to bomb the building.[1][4] A New Zealand player fell ill and had to stay in hospital for three weeks when his team flew home.[4][1]


Group stageEdit

Group AEdit

South Vietnam  2–0  Singapore
Australia  5–3  New Zealand
South Vietnam  0–1  Australia
New Zealand  3–1  Singapore
South Vietnam  5–1  New Zealand
Australia  5–1  Singapore

Group BEdit

Malaysia  3–2  Thailand
South Korea  1–0  Hong Kong
South Korea  3–1  Thailand
Hong Kong  0–2  Malaysia
Thailand  5–1  Hong Kong
South Korea  2–1  Malaysia

Knockout stageEdit

12 November
  Australia 1
14 November
  Malaysia 0
  Australia 3
12 November
  South Korea 2
  South Vietnam0
  South Korea 3
Third place
14 November
  South Vietnam 4
  Malaysia 1


Australia  1–0  Malaysia
South Vietnam  0–3  South Korea

Third place play-offEdit

South Vietnam  4–1  Malaysia


Australia  3–2  South Korea
Attendance: 14,547


  1. ^ a b c d e f Stanley, Ben (2013-11-10). "All Whites' Vietnam War blast from the past". Stuff.
  2. ^ a b Dowd, Fergus (2020-04-10). "The Sound of Waltzing Matilda in Saigon: The birth of Australian soccer in the Vietnam War". The Football Faithful.
  3. ^ "(South) Vietnam Friendly Football Tournaments". rsssf.com. Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Stephen, Craig (2020-06-12). "Bombs and boots - when New Zealand played football in a war zone". RNZ.
  5. ^ a b c Hay, Roy (2017-11-09). "As Socceroos face moment of truth, let's remember our football triumph of 1967". The Conversation.
  6. ^ a b c d Cooke, Richard (2013-06-06). "The forgotten story of … the Socceroos in Vietnam". The Guardian.
  7. ^ Parkinson, James (2018-02-23). "At Height Of Vietnam War, Australia Tried Soccer Diplomacy". WBUR.
  8. ^ Lane, Daniel (2014-11-08). "When the Socceroos won behind enemy lines". Sydney Morning Herald.