Incomplete Vietnam roster ready to beat Iraq

By Hieu Luong   June 7, 2024 | 07:30 pm PT
Even if Vietnam fail to advance from Group F at the World Cup qualifiers’ second round, they are dead-set on winning their upcoming Iraq clash to boost their FIFA ranking.

Forward Nguyen Van Toan’s two yellow cards during the 2026 World Cup qualifiers’s second round will prevent him from training with the national team before their Iraq clash on Wednesday.

Toan was initially booked in the 87th minute of Vietnam’s 0-1 loss to Indonesia in March.

His second yellow card of the second qualifying round then came in the 76th minute of Vietnam's 3-2 victory over the Philippines on Thursday.

According to World Cup qualifying regulations, a player with two bookings in two different matches then receives a one game suspension effective immediately.

Toan’s absence will be a significant loss for coach Kim Sang-sik and his squad.

As a starting forward, Toan performed extremely well in Vietnam’s win against the Philippines.

Nguyễn Văn Toàn (phải) nhận thẻ vàng ở phút 76 trận Việt Nam thắng Philippines 3-2 hôm 6/6, thuộc lượt năm bảng F vòng loại hai World Cup 2026. Ảnh: Ngọc Thành

Nguyen Van Toan (R) receives a yellow card in Vietnam's 3-2 victory over the Philippines on June 6, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

In the 65th minute, he cleverly broke an offside trap to receive a pass in the penalty area from Hoang Duc. His exquisite ball-handling threw goalkeeper Neil Etheridge off balance and then set up Tien Linh for the game’s crucial 1-1 equalizer.

The team will welcome back with open arms defender Bui Hoang Viet Anh after his suspension to finalize the 23-man squad traveling to Iraq.

On Friday morning, Vietnam’s starting lineup that won the Philippines match trained in their hotel gym.

Substitutes and other roster members trained at the PVF Academy.

The atmosphere at both camps was wholly positive after the victory over the Philippines, which had snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Diễn biến chính trận Việt Nam thắng Philippines 3-2.

The national team left for Basra, Iraq from Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi via Qatar early on Saturday. They are expected to arrive at 10:00 a.m. local time, or 2:00 p.m. Hanoi time.

Vietnam will have three days to acclimate to the weather and pitch conditions in Iraq.

The match at Basra Stadium, which has a capacity of about 65,000, will kick off at 9:00 p.m. local time on June 11 (1:00 a.m. Hanoi time on June 12).

Iraq's five wins have secured them the top spot in this year’s qualifiers Group F.

Vietnam are in third place with six points, one point behind Indonesia.

Vietnam can advance to the third qualifiers only if they defeat Iraq, and the Philippines beat Indonesia. If Indonesia lose, Vietnam only need a draw to advance, thanks to their better goal difference.

Regardless of whether Vietnam progresses from Group F in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers, they are determined to secure a victory against Iraq to improve their FIFA ranking.

In six encounters with Iraq, Vietnam have lost five times, with the only draw occurring at the 2018 World Cup second qualifiers in October 2015.

Vietnam National Football Team Roster:

Goalkeepers (3): Nguyen Filip (Cong An Ha Noi), Dang Van Lam (Binh Dinh), Nguyen Dinh Trieu (Hai Phong).

Defenders (9): Bui Tien Dung, Nguyen Duc Chien, Nguyen Thanh Binh, Phan Tuan Tai (The Cong), Do Duy Manh, Pham Xuan Manh (Ha Noi), Bui Hoang Viet Anh, Ho Tan Tai, Vu Van Thanh (Cong An Ha Noi).

Midfielders (7): Nguyen Hoang Duc, Khuat Van Khang (The Cong), Nguyen Tuan Anh, To Van Vu (Nam Dinh), Do Hung Dung, Nguyen Van Truong (Ha Noi), Nguyen Quang Hai (Cong An Ha Noi).

Forwards (4): Pham Tuan Hai (Ha Noi), Dinh Thanh Binh (Hoang Anh Gia Lai), Bui Vi Hao, Nguyen Tien Linh (Binh Duong).

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