Star goalie to join national football team in Saudi Arabia

By Lam Thoa   August 18, 2021 | 04:31 pm PT
Star goalie to join national football team in Saudi Arabia
A screenshot of Dang Van Lam during the Emperor Cup game between Cerezo Osaka and Gainare Tottori on June 9, 2021.
Dang Van Lam will fly directly from Japan to Saudi Arabia to join the national team for Vietnam’s World Cup qualifying round matches.

Head coach Park Hang-seo decided to call up Lam for Vietnam’s opening game of the final round against Saudi Arabia on September 2, despite his lack of play time with Japanese club Cerezo Osaka. The keeper won't return to Vietnam to join the national team for training. He will fly from Japan to Saudi Arabia on August 28, when the J1 League takes a break. This means the 28-year-old will only have four days to train with the team before playing Saudi Arabia.

Lam has been Park's number one goalkeeper choice for the national team. With Lam as custodian, Vietnam won the AFF Cup 2018, made it into the top eight of Asian Cup 2019 and went unbeaten in the first five games of the second World Cup qualifying round.

Lam was also called for the last three games of the second round in June. However, Park had to cross his name from the list after Lam made indirect contact with a player in his Japanese club who tested positive for Covid-19.

His place was taken by 35-year-old keeper Bui Tan Truong and he performed impressively. Vietnam won two games and lost one, which was enough to get them to the final World Cup qualifying round for the first time in history.

Goalkeeper coach Nguyen The Anh said Lam was still in good form despite lacking play time in Osaka.

After the game in Saudi Arabia, Lam and the team will fly back to Hanoi to prepare for the home game against Australia on September 7. This match will be played at the My Dinh National Stadium without spectators.

The team has been training in Hanoi since August 5 with 31 players. Twenty-three players will go to Saudi Arabia.

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