Vietnam to fortify defense for World Cup qualifiers: captain

By Lam Thoa   August 13, 2021 | 04:45 pm PT
Vietnam to fortify defense for World Cup qualifiers: captain
Que Ngoc Hai (C) celebrates the goal in Vietnam's 2-1 victory against Malaysia in the World Cup qualifiers on June 11, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Center-back Que Ngoc Hai says the national football team will focus on strengthening their defense in preparing for upcoming games against strong opponents in final World Cup qualifying round.

"The national team are trying to make improvements going into the final qualifying round. Our opponents are all top teams that qualify for the World Cup regularly so the upcoming games will be really challenging. We will try to make our defense better to play these games with confidence and great spirit," Hai said.

This is the first time that Vietnam has advanced to the final round of the World Cup qualifiers. The Golden Dragons are in group B with Asian powerhouses Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and China.

Twelve teams in the final qualifying round will be divided into two groups of six, with the top two teams in each group qualifying directly for 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while the two third-placed teams enter the playoffs.

Vietnam are considered the weakest team in the group. Therefore, the team will have to play more defensive in the upcoming games against strong opponents. As the team captain and the player with the lowest position in the defense line, Hai carries great responsibility.

"I don’t have much pressure playing in this position, because my teammates support me really well. Together, we form a solid defense and we will improve it even more to get ready for the final round," Hai said.

The national team have been training in Hanoi since August 5. They will play the first game against Saudi Arabia on September 2 and Australia five days later.

Coach Park Hang-seo watches as the Vietnam's national team train for the final World Cup qualification round, Hanoi, August 12, 2021. Video by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

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