Another key national player gets Covid-19 before Australia clash

By Duc Dong   January 13, 2022 | 01:27 am PT
Another key national player gets Covid-19 before Australia clash
Nguyen Tien Linh reacts after missing a chance in an AFF Cup game in 2021. Photo by Leo Shengwei
Striker Nguyen Tien Linh is the third player on the national team to contract Covid-19 and may miss the upcoming World Cup qualifying match with Australia.

Linh was confirmed positive for Covid-19 on Thursday morning, to the dismay of Vietnam Football Federation and head coach Park Hang-seo. He will remain in Hanoi for quarantine and treatment.

According to plan, the national team will go to Australia on Jan. 20 before playing the match with the host on the 27th, meaning there's a high chance Linh might not be able to join the squad, seing as Australia requires a person to have a negative PCR test result three days before entering the country.

Before Linh, midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc and forward Nguyen Van Toan contracted Covid and had to enter quarantine. With two attackers missing, Park might have to make some additions to the current team.

In 2021, Linh scored seven goals for the national team, of which four were openers. He scored in the last three World Cup qualifiers of the second round and helped Vietnam advance to the final round for the first time in history.

In the final round, he netted two more goals. However, his form dropped in AFF Cup as he only scored two goals in six games.

After playing Australia, Vietnam will return to play China at home on Feb. 1. The Golden Dragons are still at the bottom of group B after losing the first six matches.

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