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Vietnam ready for Japan clash: key defender

By Lam Thoa   November 9, 2021 | 06:00 am PT
Vietnam ready for Japan clash: key defender
Tran Dinh Trong (red jersey) is recovered from injuries and ready for Vietnam's World Cup qualification game with Japan. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Center-back Tran Dinh Trong is confident he and his teammates can get a good result against Japan in their World Cup qualifying encounter this week.

"The whole team are excited for the game with Japan. Although they are a strong team, we are prepared, mentally and tactically to play a fair and square game. Japan are not in a good position and they face more pressure from fans and media, so this can be an advantage for Vietnam," Trong said of Vietnam's upcoming home game.

Vietnam are at the bottom of group B after losing to Saudi Arabia, Australia, China and Oman. Japan are considered the strongest team of the group but are struggling at the moment, after losses against Oman and Saudi Arabia.

"Japan have many famous players that are competing in Europe, like Takumi Minamino. Any of them can be a threat to Vietnam’s defense. Therefore, we have been training and preparing at the highest level for this game," Trong added.

Trong is considered one of the top defenders in Vietnam, playing an important role in AFC U23 Championship and AFF Cup 2018, in which Vietnam won the title. However, since late 2018, he has been struggling with injuries and missed many tournaments.

"I have fully recovered. I’m just wearing a knee pad to feel safer. At the moment, I’m ready to play Japan," he said.

Vietnam will play Japan in My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on Thursday. The match will start at 7 p.m. (Hanoi time) and be reported live on VnExpress International.

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