Vietnam make historic advance to final World Cup qualifying round

By Hoang Nguyen   June 15, 2021 | 10:53 am PT
Vietnam make historic advance to final World Cup qualifying round
Captain Que Ngoc Hai (R) greets Nguyen Tien Linh who scored one of Vietnam's two goals in the World Cup qualification game with the UAE, June 15, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Vietnam have made it to the third round of World Cup qualifiers for the first time in history as one of the best group's runners up.

Despite losing 2-3 to the UAE in the last match of group G Tuesday, Vietnam still advanced as one of the five best second-placed teams in the tournament.

With the withdrawal of North Korea from the qualifiers, their results from all matches in the second round already played were declared null and void. Therefore, after the second round concluded, the results of matches between second- and fifth-placed teams in the remaining groups would also not be counted in order to have a balanced comparison between all group runners-up and alleviate any possible imbalance between the seven qualifying groups caused by North Korea’s withdrawal from group H.

After deducting six points from the wins against Indonesia, who are fifth in group G, Vietnam have 11 points. The Golden Dragons bested other second-placed teams in other groups like Jordan, Tajikistan and Lebanon.

This is Vietnam’s very first time at the third qualifying round of World Cup, which will take place between September 2021 and March 2022.

Other Asian teams advancing are Australia, China, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Syria and the UAE.

The 12 teams will be divided into two groups to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top two teams of each group will qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the two third-placed teams will advance to the playoffs.

The draw for the third round will be held after the second round is concluded.

Asian Cup 2023

Vietnam also advanced the final round of Asian Cup 2023 without having to play qualifiers for the first time, being the fourth second-best teams.

They will join the hosts China, Australia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Syria and the UAE at the tournament to be held between June 16 and July 16, 2023.

At Asian Cup 2019, Vietnam entered the semifinal and lost 0-1 to Japan.

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