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Key goalkeeper to join national team early for World Cup qualifiers

By Lam Thoa   May 20, 2021 | 11:02 pm PT
Key goalkeeper to join national team early for World Cup qualifiers
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam at the AFF Cup 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Dang Van Lam's club Cerezo Osaka has agreed to let him off early to prepare for Vietnam's important World Cup qualifiers.

Lam is set to fly to the United Arab Amirates (UAE) and join the national team from May 26. Osaka initially agreed to only let him leave after May 31, but after discussions with Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), the Japanese club agreed to let him fly to UAE earlier so the 28-year-old keeper could have more training time with the national team and play a friendly with Jordan on May 31.

The Vietnamese-Russian keeper’s name was not on the call-up list for the training period in Hanoi since he was playing in Japan, but he still got a spot on the official squad list.

"I’m really happy to receive a call up to the national team. It’s so special and I feel a great responsibility on my shoulders. Vietnam is heading for three important games and I will give my best to the team and fans," Lam said.

Lam has been the number one national team goalie under head coach Park Hang-seo. With Lam in the goals, Vietnam won the AFF Cup 2018, made it into the top eight teams at Asian Cup 2019 and are leading group G in World Cup Asian qualifiers with 11 points after five games.

The problem with Lam at the moment is playing time. He has not played any game at club level since January due to his lengthy transfer from Thai club Muangthong United to Osaka and Covid-19. Lam is still waiting to debut for Osaka.

The national team are currently training in Hanoi, before flying to UAE on May 26. The Golden Dragons will play Indonesia on June 7, Malaysia on the 11th and UAE 15th. Their target is six points out of three matches to secure a place in the final World Cup qualification round.

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