|Tran Dinh Trong receives a red card in the AFC U23 Championship match between Vietnam and the DPRK on January 16, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
The 23-year-old defender received his red card in the 93rd minute during Vietnam’s 1-2 loss to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the AFC U23 Championship on January 16. Trong got his second yellow card after getting his elbow in the face of a North Korean player.
Vietnam, runners up in the previous edition of the tournament, crashed out at the group stage with two goalless draws and a loss in their last group stage match.
According to FIFA and AFC regulations, Trong will be suspended for the next match of the World Cup qualification match against Malaysia.
AFC competitions subject to an age limit: to the representative team’s next Match in the same age group in AFC or FIFA competition in the same category of football. Where the suspension cannot be served in the same age group, it shall be carried over to a higher age category in AFC or FIFA competitions in the same category of football, says chapter 38.2.2 of the AFC’s discipline and ethic code.
Trong's absence will be a disadvantage for the national team.
The 22-year-old has just returned after a serious injury that took him six months to recover. However, he was trusted by coach Park Hang-seo and chosen for the AFC U23 Championship. The immature performance of younger players in defense left Park no choice but to send him into the field sooner than expected.
Although he had not fully recovered from his injury, Trong still showed his prowess on the field with calmness and accuracy in his decision.
Vietnam will play an away match against Malaysia on March 31. This is a very crucial match that will affect the chance of advancing to the next round for the World Cup 2022 qualifiers. Park will have to find a worthy replacement for Trong in the three-men back line.
Vietnam’s national team are currently on the top of group G at the World Cup qualification round in Asia, with 11 points, followed by Malaysia (nine points), Thailand (eight points), UAE (six points) and Indonesia with zero. The Golden Dragons have three group games left against Malaysia, Indonesia and UAE.