New Vietnam head coach calls up experienced players for World Cup qualifiers

By Lam Thoa   May 29, 2024 | 05:04 pm PT
New Vietnam head coach calls up experienced players for World Cup qualifiers
Vietnam players during the friendly against Palestine on Nov. 9, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
All 27 players called cup by coach Kim Sang-sik to prepare for the games against the Philippines and Iraq in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers have experience playing for the national team.

The squad list included familiar names such as defenders Do Duy Manh, Bui Hoang Viet Anh, Vu Van Thanh, midfielders Nguyen Hoang Duc, Do Hung Dung, Nguyen Van Toan, Nguyen Quang Hai and striker Nguyen Tien Linh.

To Van Vu, 31, is considered a new addition. He was not used under coach Philippine Troussier, but was previously called up by coach Park Hang-seo. Vu is in fine form playing a key role in helping Nam Dinh FC top the V. League and move closer to the title.

Kim has just begun to work and the preparation time for the games was short, so he decided to select experienced players to quickly put together a cohesive team.

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam will return to the national team this time. The Vietnamese-Russian goalkeeper was injured and absent from the previous call-ups under coach Troussier, and Vietnamese-Czech goalkeeper Filip Nguyen filled in his place.

The chance for Lam to become the number one goalkeeper of the team again is great as Filip has not been in good form recently and made several mistakes in the V. League.

The team will gather after round 22 of the V. League taking place this weekend. On June 6, coach Kim and the team will take on the Philippines at My Dinh National Stadium, which is also the debut of the South Korean coach.

After that, the team will go to Iraq to play the final match of of the 2026 World Cup second qualifying round on June 12.

In the first leg, Vietnam won 2-0 against the Philippines thanks to goals from Nguyen Van Toan and Nguyen Dinh Bac. This was also the only match that the team earned points in Group F.

In the three following matches, Vietnam consecutively lost 1-0 to Iraq, 1-0 and 3-0 to Indonesia, which left them almost no chance of advancing. As a result, coach Troussier was dismissed at the end of March.

Iraq were certain to advance after winning four games. Indonesia are second with seven points and only need one more victory when facing Iraq or Philippines to ensure their place in the next round.

Vietnam can only advance if they defeat Philippines and Iraq, and hope Indonesia only get a maximum of one point in the remaining two games.

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