Key defender may miss Vietnam's World Cup qualifiers

By Lam Thoa   March 3, 2020 | 05:48 am PT
Key defender may miss Vietnam's World Cup qualifiers
Hanoi FC's Do Duy Manh is on the bench with one leg injured during a match with HCMC FC in HCMC, March 1, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Vietnam face a defense crisis in the upcoming World Cup qualifier after center-back Do Duy Manh sustained injuries.

If there's no schedule change, Duy Manh will miss the second qualification match against Malaysia on March 31 due to collateral ligament damage suffered last Sunday.

"He sustained a meniscus injury in his right knee and collateral ligament damage on the same leg. He will need to undergo surgery," a Hanoi FC representative said.

"Most likely, the surgery will commence in Singapore. With this type of injury, players need a break of six to nine months."

Duy Manh, a Hanoi FC player, was injured in the 4th minute after making contact with HCMC FC’s center-forward Amido Baldé during a Super Cup match at Thong Nhat Stadium in HCMC. He was later carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

Hanoi FC's Do Duy Manh (No. 28) is injured after a collision during a Super Cup match with HCMC FC, March 1, 2020.

The 27-year-old player will certainly be absent from the entire first phase of V-League 2020 - scheduled to start March 6. He could also miss Vietnam's remaining 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Asia.

Earlier, both midfielders Nguyen Trong Hoang and Tran Dinh Trong had been suspended for the match against Malaysia.

Trong received a red card at the end of the 1-2 loss against North Korea on January 16, crashing out of the AFC U23 Championship.

Hoang picked up two yellow cards in two World Cup qualification matches last year.

Vietnam are leading Group G of World Cup qualifiers with 11 points from three wins and two draws. If they can beat Malaysia as guests at Bukit Jalil Stadium, the door to the next round will open wide.

Vietnam will play Malaysia away on March 31, Indonesia on June 4 and UAE on June 9.

Yet Vietnam might have more preparation time after all, as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is scheduled to meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this week to discuss fixture of the Asian round of the 2022 World Cup qualification amid coronavirus fears.

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