Vietnam star keeper to miss 2023 Asian Cup

By Hieu Luong   December 31, 2023 | 03:33 pm PT
Keeper Dang Van Lam will not recover in time for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and has been forced to withdraw from the Vietnam camp.

A medical examination on Sunday determined that Lam has a twitch in his right calf and an Achilles tendinitis, and the injuries will require another three weeks of rest for him to fully recover. This means the goalie will not be able to compete at the 2023 Asian Cup, as Vietnam are scheduled to face Japan on Jan. 14, Indonesia on Jan. 19, and Iraq on Jan. 24.

Dang Van Lam in Vietnams 0-1 defeat against Japan at the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Dang Van Lam in Vietnam's 0-1 defeat against Japan at the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Lam sustained the injuries in the middle of the second half of Binh Dinh FC’s game against Hai Phong in the V. League on Dec. 27. He felt some pain in his right foot after sprinting for the ball and was subbed out for reserve keeper Tran Dinh Minh Hoang after he was deemed unfit to continue by Binh Dinh’s medical team. Lam was seen limping off the pitch at the end of the match.

The 30-year-old Russian Vietnamese has been Vietnam’s number one keeper since 2017, with 40 international appearances to his name. He helped Vietnam win the 2018 AFF Cup, make the quarterfinal of the 2019 Asian Cup, and advance to the third qualifier of the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the first time in history.

His absence means Nguyen Filip, another foreign-born keeper, is most likely to be standing in goal for Vietnam at the tournament. Another goalie that got called up is Hai Phong FC’s Nguyen Dinh Trieu. Other options for coach Philippe Troussier include promoting the young goalie Nguyen Van Viet from the U23 team or adding the in-form Tran Minh Toan of Binh Duong to the camp.

Apart from Lam, midfielders Nguyen Duc Chien and Hoang Van Toan, striker Nguyen Thanh Nhan, and defender Nguyen Thanh Chung will also miss the tournament in Qatar due to injuries. Defenders Que Ngoc Hai and Do Duy Manh, midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc, and striker Nguyen Tien Linh are yet to be in their best shape. Midfielder Pham Van Luan and defenders Bui Tien Dung and Ho Tan Tai have received the additional call ups.

The team will be training at the PVF Football Academy before choosing the 30 names to travel to Qatar and play a friendly against Kyrgyzstan on Jan. 9. The list of 26 players registered to compete at the 2023 Asian Cup will then be finalized.

The 2023 Asian Cup take place from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10, 2024. China were the original host of the tournament but withdrew due to the impacts of Covid-19, which also caused the event to be moved to early 2024. 24 teams were drawn into six groups of four, where six group winners, six group runners-up, and four teams finishing third with the best results will advance to the round of 16.

List of 32 Vietnam players called up for the 2024 Asian Cup, as of the afternoon of December 31:

Goalkeepers (2): Nguyen Filip (Cong An Ha Noi), Nguyen Dinh Trieu (Hai Phong).

Defenders (13): Vu Van Thanh, Bui Hoang Viet Anh, Giap Tuan Duong, Ho Van Cuong (CAHN), Do Duy Manh, Que Ngoc Hai, Vo Minh Trong (Binh Duong), Nguyen Thanh Binh, Phan Tuan Tai (The Cong Viettel), Le Ngoc Bao, Do Thanh Thinh (Binh Dinh), Bui Tien Dung (The Cong Viettel), Ho Tan Tai (CAHN).

Midfielders (12): Nguyen Hoang Duc, Khuat Van Khang, Truong Tien Anh (The Cong Viettel), Do Hung Dung, Pham Xuan Manh, Nguyen Hai Long (Hanoi FC), Nguyen Quang Hai, Le Pham Thanh Long, Pham Van Luan (CAHN), Nguyen Tuan Anh (HAGL), Trieu Viet Hung (Hai Phong), Nguyen Thai Son (Thanh Hoa).

Strikers (5): Pham Tuan Hai, Nguyen Van Tung (Hanoi FC), Nguyen Tien Linh (Binh Duong), Nguyen Van Toan (Nam Dinh), Nguyen Dinh Bac (Quang Nam).

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