FIFA praises Vietnam's historic feat at World Cup qualifiers

By Hoang Nguyen   June 17, 2021 | 01:12 am PT
FIFA praises Vietnam's historic feat at World Cup qualifiers
The Vietnam national team thank fans after the World Cup qualifying game with the UAE on June 15, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
FIFA was impressed by Vietnam's advance to the final round of World Cup qualifiers, calling it "the biggest surprise package."

"This campaign saw the emergence of Vietnam, who made history by sealing maiden progression into the third round. Having reached the last eight at 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the team continued to make progress on the continental stage under coach Park Hang-seo," FIFA wrote.

Vietnam registered back-to-back victories over Indonesia and Malaysia and advanced as one of the best second-placed teams, despite losing 2-3 to hosts UAE in the last match.

FIFA also complimented Vietnam's number one cannon, striker Nguyen Tien Linh for his wonderful performance at the tournament.

"A host of players stepped into the spotlight to help their respective teams through. Notable among them was 23-year-old striker Nguyen Tien Linh, who struck four times, including scoring the match-winning goal in the first-leg meeting against UAE, to help his side achieve breakthrough progress."

Linh scored a total of five goals in the second round of World Cup qualifiers, translating into 38 percent of Vietnam’s goals.

Twelve teams in the final qualifying round will be divided into two groups of six. The sides will compete between Sept. 2, 2021 and March 29, 2022, with the top two teams in each group qualifying directly for 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while the two third-placed teams enter the playoffs.

The draw for World Cup's final qualifying round will take place on July 1.

Vietnam in the second round of 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers.

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