Two key players down in Vietnam's preparation for World Cup qualifiers

By Lam Thoa   July 27, 2021 | 06:30 pm GMT+7
Two key players down in Vietnam's preparation for World Cup qualifiers
Nguyen Cong Phuong (L) is instructed by coach Park Hang-seo during a training session in May 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Forward Nguyen Cong Phuong and goalkeeper Dang Van Lam won’t join the national team for World Cup qualifier preparation this August.

This is the first time Phuong will be absent from the national team under Park Hang-seo’s lead. With Phuong’s wife to soon give birth, he plans to join the squad for their second training.

He will be absent from Vietnam's first game of the third qualification round in Saudi Arabia on September 2, but is expected to join the team in the home game against Australia five days later.

Lam will also be absent due to obligations at Japanese club Cerezo Osaka. The 28-year-old keeper can only join the national team when the international break hits.

The call-up list this time includes many familiar faces, along with three new players. The team are set to gather for training in Hanoi on August 5 under the instruction of assistant coach Lee Young-jin. Park is still in South Korea and will return to Vietnam on July 28, when he will enter quarantine before returning to work.

This is the first time in history Vietnam have made it to the final World Cup qualification round. The Golden Dragons are in group B with Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, China and Oman.

Vietnam in the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualification. Video by VnExpress/Hoang Khanh.

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