Forty “bad luck” stones outside the 40,000 capacity My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi were removed before the second leg AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final between Vietnam and the Philippines.
The stone spheres linked by a chain were installed as feng shui (Chinese geomancy) decorations and placed outside stand B to bind the universe, earth and humanity together when the stadium was completed in 2003. 
According to news reports in Thanh Nien and Tuoi Tre News, quoting a representative of My Dinh Sports Complex – the largest of its kind in Vietnam – the stone balls, spiritually speaking, “don’t bode well” for the Golden Dragons.
The removal of the stone balls was at the request of the organizers of the Vietnam-Philippines semi-final (second leg) match. 
With the removal of the stone balls Vietnam beat the Azkals (the Philippines) 2-1  at My Dinh to advance to 4-2 on aggregate, having won the first leg in Bacolod City by a similar margin – to reach their first final in years. Vietnam won their only Suzuki Cup in 2008.
The win by the Golden Dragons left the team and fans ecstatic as it broke Vietnam’s “no-win curse” at the My Dinh Stadium in the AFF meet –  with three draws and two defeats in the semi-finals from 2004 to 2014.
Now the stone balls will remain in their new home and their fate will only be decided after the second-leg final against Malaysia on Saturday (Dec 15).
Both teams go into the decider on equal footing after a 2-2 draw in the first leg final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last Tuesday. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH 
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