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Vietnamese star midfielder among ones to watch in AFC Cup

By Hoang Nguyen   June 22, 2022 | 10:11 pm PT
Vietnamese star midfielder among ones to watch in AFC Cup
Nguyen Hoang Duc in Viettel FC jersey. Photo by AFC
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has selected Vietnam's talented midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc as one of the most notable ASEAN players in AFC Cup this year.

"A key component of the Viettel FC side and a regular for the Vietnam national team, Nguyen Hoang Duc has been among the most talked-about players in the Southeast Asian country in recent years and is set to grace AFC Cup for the first time," AFC wrote.

The 24-year-old has been one of the most prominent talents of Vietnam since his breakthrough in 2019, when he made his debut for the national team. Duc quickly became a key player on the team and a regular starter during World Cup qualifiers last year.

"A midfielder with an eye for a goal, Hoang Duc helped Viettel secure the V. League title in 2020 and subsequently appeared in their maiden AFC Champions League campaign a year later, where he scored their first-ever goal in the competition, in what proved their first-ever win," AFC added.

(From L) Boris Kopitovic, Keo Sokpheng, Nguyen Hoang Duc, Ronald Ngah and Ilija Spasojevic, five notable ASEAN players in AFC Cup according to AFC. Photo by AFC

(From L) Boris Kopitovic, Keo Sokpheng, Nguyen Hoang Duc, Ronald Ngah and Ilija Spasojevic, five notable ASEAN players in AFC Cup according to AFC. Photo by AFC

On AFC's list, there are also Indonesian striker Ilija Spasojevic (Bali United), Cameroonian striker Ronald Ngah, who is playing for Malaysian club Kedah Darul Aman, Cambodian winger Keo Sokpheng (Visakha FC) and Montenegrin striker Boris Kopitovic of Singaporean club Tampines Rovers.

Duc's club Viettel will face three Southeast Asian opponents in group I of AFC Cup this year - Young Elephants (Laos), Phnom Penh Crown (Cambodia) and Hougang United (Singapore).

Unlike AFC Champions League, the 2022 AFC Cup group stage will only have one leg and all games will be played at a central venue. Viettel are the host of group I, which affords them home advantage. All group I matches will be played in June.

 
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