Vietnamese football sets ambitious goals in 2024
VOV.VN - The national men’s football team are expected to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals as the upcoming tournament will see the number of participating teams increase to 48, with 2024 being a pivotal year for the senior team in terms of achieving this aim.
After enduring a difficult year, Vietnamese men’s football looks set to bounce back at the many tournaments being held over the next 12 months, with fans hopeful it was all worth the wait.
In the World Cup’s second qualification round, Vietnam will play Indonesia in March, followed by Iraq and the Philippines in June. The two strongest teams will then secure their places in the next qualifying round.
If they get a spot in the third phase, Vietnam will have six more matches from September to November this year.
Immediately after that, the team led by French coach Philippe Troussier will continue to compete in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship, formerly called AFF Cup, from November 23 to December 21.
Thus, Vietnamese national men’s football team may have to play more than 20 official matches this year, vastly different from only two official matches played in 2023.
Many local football stars have fully recovered and have since returned to training and playing for their clubs, preparing for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in March.
Key players such as Que Ngoc Hai, Dang Van Lam, Nguyen Tien Linh, Nguyen Hoang Duc, Nguyen Thanh Chung, Doan Van Hau, and Bui Tien Dung have all made a successful recovery and have returned to training, even participating in friendly matches.
The recovery of these players is good news for French coach Troussier, as their presence provides the Vietnamese team with more quality options for the crucial matches against Indonesia in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
The two matches, scheduled to take place at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Indonesia on March 21 followed by a game at the My Dinh National Stadium in Vietnam on March 26, promises to be challenging. Indonesia have significantly transformed since the addition of several naturalised players, with their confidence soaring following their progress at the 2023 Asian Cup.
The two matches against Indonesia will play a key role in the World Cup campaign of the Vietnamese men’s football team. If they can win four or six points from the World Cup second qualification, the senior team will be able to have a chance at competing in the third qualifying round at the year-end. Coach Troussier and his team will possibly encounter strong rivals such as Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Iran, and Australia.
2024 is therefore called a pivotal year for Vietnamese football as it strives to win a place at the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals. Therefore, the players will definitely have to try their best if they are going to achieve their set target this year.