ESPN praises golden generation of Vietnamese football

VOV.VN - Global sports website ESPN published an article on June 15 praising the Vietnamese national football team as a golden generation of talent ahead of the team’s match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the second Asian qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The article opens by stating that throughout the history of football, very few national teams have the privilege of boasting exceptionally gifted players breaking through at the same time.

However, despite this positivity, having a prodigious group of players is one thing, delivering on the potential is a different matter entirely.

As Vietnam is on the brink of making it to the third qualifying round of the FIFA World Cup for the first time, there is no better time for the golden generation to shine than on June 15 when Vietnam play the UAE.

Although labelling groups as a "golden generation" is completely subjective, there are a number of factors which makes the current crop of Vietnamese players special.

The team’s journey initially began in January 2018, when they reached the final of the AFC U-23 Championship and beat teams like Australia, Iraq, and Qatar on route to the last game, the article wrote.

The Vietnamese team then backed that up at senior level at the end of 2018 by ending a decade-long wait to be crowned champions of Southeast Asia for a second time after winning the AFF Suzuki Cup, despite their average age of just 23.7.

A month later, Vietnam were making their first AFC Asian Cup appearance in 12 years and again proved they had what it takes by giving a good account of themselves at the regional tournament. They were able to progress out of a tough group that included heavyweights Iran and Iraq, before going on to beat Jordan in the round of 16, before narrowly being defeated by the Asian powerhouse of Japan.

June 15 could see the Vietnamese arguably surpass all of those achievements. Avoiding defeat to the UAE will seal the team secure top spot in Group G and ensure progress to the final qualifying stage for the first time ever, along with a guaranteed place at the next Asian Cup ahead in 2023.

The website singles out Nguyen Quang Hai as the star man of the current side, although with the left-footed playmaker suspended for the last match against Malaysia on June 11, Vietnam had other players to step in for the Hanoi FC player in the critical 2-1 win.

Nguyen Tien Linh continues to show glimpses of having the ability to succeed legendary striker Le Cong Vinh as the focal point in attack. Whilst pair Do Duy Manh and Doan Van Hau look like they will be mainstays in defence for the next decade.

Elsewhere, Nguyen Cong Phuong and Luong Xuan Truong, both of whom were the first two to emerge from the golden generation are still only 26 and have plenty of time to get back on track after their careers have faltered slightly.

Furthermore, plenty of credit has to go to head coach Park Hang-seo, who was appointed without much fanfare back in 2017, ESPN writes.

Park can now be viewed as a fine tactician in his own right, the article stresses.

Even in the distant future, Vietnam are unlikely to be challenging to win the World Cup, but for an unfancied Southeast Asian nation, qualifying for one would already be a huge achievement, the article concludes.

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Vietnam ready for key World Cup qualifier against hosts UAE
Vietnam ready for key World Cup qualifier against hosts UAE

VOV.VN - The Vietnamese national team are due to play the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on June 15 in their final group match of the second qualifying round in the Asian region for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, seeking a ticket to the third, final qualifying round for the first time.

Vietnam ready for key World Cup qualifier against hosts UAE

Vietnam ready for key World Cup qualifier against hosts UAE

VOV.VN - The Vietnamese national team are due to play the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on June 15 in their final group match of the second qualifying round in the Asian region for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, seeking a ticket to the third, final qualifying round for the first time.