Vietnamese keeper extends contract with Japanese club

By Nghia Phu   January 12, 2022 | 06:00 pm PT
Vietnamese keeper extends contract with Japanese club
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam during a training session with Cerezo Osaka. Photo by Cerezo Osaka
Cerezo Osaka has decided to extend its current contract with keeper Dang Van Lam until 2023.

The contract extension was announced by Osaka on Tuesday, 20 days before the old contract expires. The 28-year-old keeper will stay at the club until Jan. 31, 2023.

Lam joined Osaka in January 2021. He has only played two games so far for the club, one in AFC Champions League and one in Emperor Cup. He is still recovering from a serious shoulder injury obtained in September, which required surgery.

This season, Lam will have more chances to play since Osaka have parted ways with keeper Kenya Matsui. However, he will still have to compete with South Korean keeper Kim Jin Hyeon and Japanese keeper Sota Matsubara.

Due to injury, Lam missed AFF Cup last year. Coach Park Hang-seo won't call him up for the next World Cup qualifiers with Australia on Jan. 27 and China on Feb. 1.

"It's hard to explain when you have to sit and watch your teammates on the national team play in another place. It reminds me of several years ago when I couldn't contribute to the national team also because of injury.

"But it taught me that being eager won't help shorten the time. The most important thing at the moment is that I need to train hard and recover from my injury, so I can return in a solid and powerful state," Lam told football site Goal.

Lam was once the number one goalkeeper choice of the Vietnam national team, from 2018 until last year, before he got injured.

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