Vietnam face striker shortage ahead of Australia clash

By Lam Thoa   January 20, 2022 | 03:30 am PT
Vietnam face striker shortage ahead of Australia clash
Nguyen Tien Linh reacts after missing a chance in an AFF Cup game in 2021. Photo by Leo Shengwei
Vietnam's attacking power will be significantly reduced as nearly all strikers are unable to play the upcoming World Cup qualifier with Australia.

Although key striker Nguyen Tien Linh has tested negative for Covid-19, he cannot complete his quarantine in time. The same goes for striker Nguyen Van Toan.

Linh is the main striker of the national team. In 2021, he scored seven goals for the team across two tournaments: World Cup qualifiers and AFF Cup.

After these two strikers got stuck in quarantine, coach Park Hang-seo called up Tran Phi Son and Ngan Van Dai. However, Son and Dai had trouble getting their visa to Australia, as they were not included in the invitation list of the host.

Besides the strikers, defender Que Ngoc Hai will be absent too after drawing a slew of yellow cards, while midfielder Nguyen Tuan Anh and striker Ha Duc Chinh injured.

This is Vietnam's first time ever in the final round of World Cup qualifiers. The team are last in group B after six losses.

Vietnam lost 0-1 to Australia in the first leg back in September last year.

After playing Australia on Jan. 27, the team will return to face China at home on Feb. 1, the first day of the Lunar New Year.

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