|Việt Nam will play China on October 7 in the Asian zone Group B fixture of the 2022 World Cup's third qualification. — Photo of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's national football team landed the UAE on October 1 ahead of their 2022 World Cup qualifier against China in a week's time.
After seven-hour flight, coach Park Hang-seo and his players arrived in Dubai and all tested negative for COVID-19 before they checked in to their hotel.
Although China are considered the 'home team', Dubai is a familiar destination to Việt Nam who trained there for one month to prepare for the second qualifying round.
Việt Nam played a friendly match against Jordan at the Sharjah Stadium in May.
Park named a squad of 27 players for the match. They are four goalkeepers, 11 defenders, seven midfielder and five strikers.
The South Korean manager put his trust in familiar faces such as forwards Nguyễn Công Phượng and Nguyễn Tiến Linh, midfielders Nguyễn Quang Hải, Lương Xuân Trường and Nguyễn Tuấn Anh, and defenders Đỗ Duy Mạnh and Quế Ngọc Hải.
However, one of his key midfielder Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng could not join the team because of herniated disc injury and midfielder Trần Minh Vương also pulled out after he suffered a torn ligament.
First choice goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm is also missing after he suffered a serious shoulder injury during practice with Japan's Cerezo Osaka in mid-September.
Lâm, who sent a good-luck to his teammates, needs surgery and will be unavailable for the rest of the year.
Park who turned 64 on October 1, will have six days to complete his team's tactics and technique. A list of 23 players will be finalised hours before the game.
"Every member of my team understand the importance of the match against China," the coach said.
"We have made up the best preparations possible although we did not have any international friendly matches.
"Things are running well. We have watched and discussed China's matches and will have suitable plans for personnel and tactics," he said.
After China, Việt Nam will move to Oman to face the hosts on October 12.
Park, some of his assistants and five players will then join the U22 squad to take part in the 2022 Asian U23 Championship qualification in Kyrgyzstan.
Park said this is his busy time as his teams have to compete in different competitions.
He said: "I will focus maximum on the World Cup campaign. My assistants will help to control the U23s but I still take the main responsibility. But as I said, I will give priority to the China match first. We need a good result against them."
China's coach Li Tie even said he would resign if losing to Việt Nam. They came to the UAE last month to prepare for the game and played out a 1-1 draw with Syria in a friendly.
After two matches in Group B, both Việt Nam and China have no points. Việt Nam are placed fifth, one place ahead of China on goal difference.
Việt Nam vs China will be kick off at midnight Hà Nội time on October 7 and will be live on VTV6. — VNS