Young striker key in Vietnam's World Cup qualifiers campaign: AFC

By Hoang Nguyen   May 28, 2021 | 03:52 pm PT
Young striker key in Vietnam's World Cup qualifiers campaign: AFC
Nguyen Tien Linh celebrates his goal against the UAE in a World Cup qualification game on November 14, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
The Asian Football Confederation considers Nguyen Tien Linh a key player for Vietnam in the upcoming World Cup Asian qualifier matches.

"If current Group G leaders Vietnam are to win the group and advance to the third round of the Asian Qualifiers, they will certainly look back at Nguyen Tien Linh's winning goal against the UAE in November 2019 as a key moment," AFC writes in a recent article.

"In the absence of veteran Nguyen Anh Duc who was left out of the squad by coach Park Hang-seo, Vietnam will be looking at the 23-year-old forward to build on a hot domestic form that saw him bag six goals in 11 appearances for Becamex Binh Duong so far," the article says.

Vietnam has gone unbeaten in the first five games of the World Cup qualifiers, with the highlight being Linh's strike in the 1-0 home victory against UAE. His goal was a beauty, a long-range shot from 25 meters at the 44th minute.

That was Linh's fourth goal for the national team, at the age of 23. His goal ratio for Vietnam is one every 151 minutes. He has also played four of Vietnam's five matches at the World Cup qualifiers so far.

Vietnam will play Indonesia, Malaysia and the UAE on June 7, 11 and 15, respectively. The nation's target is six points from the three matches to secure Vietnam a place in the final World Cup qualification round for the first time in history.

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