Indonesia glad not to play Vietnam's 'butcher defender'

By Minh Khang    March 14, 2024 | 11:48 pm PT
CNN Indonesia has said that the absence of "butcher defender" Doan Van Hau due to injury is good news for Indonesia for their upcoming World Cup qualifier match against Vietnam.
Doan Van Hau (number 5) in a duel with an Indonesia play at the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Tuan

Doan Van Hau (number 5) in a duel with an Indonesia player at the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Tuan

"Butcher defender Doan Van Hau is still injured and absent from the matches against Indonesia," CNN Indonesia reported after Vietnam announced its squad list for two matches against Indonesia at the 2026 World Cup qualifiers this month.

Hau has been treating a heel injury since the end of last year.

After surgery in Singapore, Hau is expected to be back in training soon. However, according to the latest official updates from Vietnam, he will be absent until the end of the season or until July.

CNN Indonesia appreciated the talent and experience of Hau, calling him one of the best left-backs in Vietnam in recent years.

"Hau is a player who was always in Park Hang Seo's lineup when he was coaching Vietnam. This player is no stranger to Indonesia," it wrote.

However, according to this newspaper, Hau is remembered more for his hard-tackling style of play.

"During the match against Indonesia in the 2019 SEA Games final, Hau broke Evan Dimas's leg and put him in a wheelchair. In the 2022 AFF Cup semifinals, Dendy Sulistyawan and Ricky Kambuaya were the victims of Hau's tackles, while Asnawi Mangkualam received an elbow from the 24-year-old player," CNN Indonesia added.

With the absence of Hau, coach Troussier has to rely on younger players like Vo Minh Trong, Giap Tuan Duong or Phan Tuan Tai. Indonesia will play Vietnam in the first leg at home on March 21 at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. On March 26, the two teams will play the second leg at My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi.

After two matches in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Vietnam are second place in group F with three points, three behind Iraq and two more than Indonesia and Philippines. In the last encounter at the 2023 Asian Cup, Vietnam lost 0-1 to Indonesia, with Hau also absent due to injury treatment.

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