National football squad shortlist gathers key players at regional games and new faces

By Lam Thoa   October 10, 2018 | 05:14 am PT
National football squad shortlist gathers key players at regional games and new faces
Nguyen Quang Hai is one of eight Hanoi players that got called up for AFF Cup 2018. Photo by Lam Thoa
Coach Park Hang-seo has shortlisted 30 players for the AFF Championship football tournament in November.

Many familiar faces are among the players called up to try out for the national squad that will compete at the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship 2018.

Among the list are familiar names like Nguyen Quang Hai, Nguyen Van Quyet, Doan Van Hau, Nguyen Cong Phuong, Bui Tien Dung and Luong Xuan Truong. These are all main players in Vietnam’s men’s national football team that has achieved success in recent tournaments. They helped Vietnam finish in fourth place at the Asian Games in Indonesia in August and second place at the AFC U23 Championship in China in January. 

An unfortunate absence is full back Vu Van Thanh, who suffered an injury in his right knee which will take about six months to recover. Midfielder Pham Xuan Manh will not be able to participate either, due to injury.

After the Asiad, Fox Sports Asia football pundit Gabriel Tan named his elite team from the games and three of them were Thanh, defender Dung and midfielder Hai.

Park has called up some new faces, which can be surprising additions to the team, such as defender Que Ngoc Hai and striker Nguyen Tien Linh, the latter the leading goal scorer in the national league with 15 goals.

Talking about the AFF Championship, Park Hang-seo told VnExpress: “AFF Cup will be a tough challenge. Although we have succeeded in the AFC U23 Championship and Asiad this year, it will be very different because this is the national team level.”

The championship will be held from November 8 to December 15, with the participation of 10 teams from Southeast Asia.

Vietnam, in Group A with Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, will play its first match against Laos on November 8.

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