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Vietnam King's Cup squad opens comeback doors

By Lam Thoa   May 28, 2019 | 04:40 pm PT
Vietnam King's Cup squad opens comeback doors
Vietnam national football team in AFF Cup 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
23 players selected for the King’s Cup include a midfielder recovering from injuries and a striker deferring his retirement.

In the 23-member squad that he has picked for the King’s Cup to be played in Thailand next month, Coach Park Hang-seo, constrained by limited time for training and preparation, has decided to call up mostly familiar faces from the previous tournament.

He has done so despite some of the players not being in the best physical condition or form recently.

Vietnamese-Russian Dang Van Lam will still be the main goalie of the national team, but players for the second and third slots have been changed. Instead of choosing Bui Tien Dung and Nguyen Tuan Manh, Park has gone for Tran Nguyen Manh and Nguyen Van Toan, who are in better form than the other two.

Manh used to be the main goalkeeper for the country, but lost his spot after receiving a red card in the AFF Cup 2016 semifinal. He returns as the second goalkeeper.

In the midfield, the team also welcomes another player making a comeback. Nguyen Tuan Anh, 24, has been called up for the first time since he was injured in 2016.

The defensive line has seen almost no changes. Centre-backs Do Duy Manh and Tran Dinh Trong have not fully recovered from their injuries, while right back Nguyen Trong Hoang has not played a single game in the V. League 1 this season. But Park is likely to put returning right back Vu Van Thanh in the main formation.

Forward Nguyen Anh Duc, 33, has come out of retirement to help the national team as Vietnam lack a good striker. Duc had announced his retirement after the AFF Cup 2018. For King’s Cup 2019, he and Nguyen Van Toan will form a striker duo for the team.

The Vietnam national football team will fly to Bangkok on June 1 and move to northwestern province of Buriram the same day. The team will have three training sessions before going into the highly anticipated match with Thailand that will take place at 7:45 p.m. on June 5 (local time). At the U23 AFC qualifiers in March, Vietnam thrashed Thailand 4-0 to qualify for the tournament in 2020.

In the other match of the tournament the same day, India will play Curacao. The winners of the two matches will meet in the final on June 8, while the other two will compete in a third-place playoff. All four matches will take place in the northeastern province of Buriram in Thailand.

Vietnam’s Next Media has acquired the Vietnam broadcasting rights for the event. The matches will be aired on VTC1, VOV1 and VOV2, and reported live on VnExpress International.

The official squad list of Vietnam national football team for King’s Cup 2019:

Goalkeepers: Dang Van Lam (Muangthong United), Tran Nguyen Manh (Song Lam Nghe An FC), Nguyen Van Toan (Hai Phong FC).

Defenders: Doan Van Hau (Hanoi FC), Bui Tien Dung (Viettel FC), Que Ngoc Hai (Viettel FC), Tran Dinh Trong (Hanoi FC), Do Duy Manh (Hanoi FC), Huynh Tan Sinh (Quang Nam FC), Nguyen Phong Hong Duy (Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC), Vu Van Thanh (Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC).

Midfielders: Pham Duc Huy (Hanoi FC), Luong Xuan Truong (Buriram United), Do Hung Dung (Hanoi FC), Nguyen Tuan Anh (Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC), Nguyen Trong Hoang (Viettel FC), Tran Van Kien (Hanoi FC), Tran Minh Vuong (Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC).

Strikers: Nguyen Van Toan (Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC), Nguyen Cong Phuong (Incheon United), Nguyen Quang Hai (Hanoi FC), Nguyen Anh Duc (Becamex Binh Duong), Ha Duc Chinh (SHB Da Nang).

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