|With just 19 members, the national team will start their World Cup campaign today in Ha Noi. — Photo bongda
HA NOI (VNS) — With just 19 members, the national team will start their World Cup campaign today in Ha Noi.
Coach Toshyia Miura surprised everyone with his short list, which has included only two strikers, Le Cong Vinh (Becamex Binh Duong) and Nguyen Hai Anh (Dong Nai).
The Japanese coach refused to take Le Van Thang of Can Tho and Hoang Dinh Tung of Thanh Hoa, one of the leading scorers at the domestic league, in the team.
He has lured four goalkeepers, six defenders, and seven midfielders. Among them, Dang Khanh Lam (Hai Phong) is the most unexpected entrant as he is 33 and nearly retired before signing a contract with Hai Phong this season.
Miura decided to pick Lam after seeing his performance in a V.League 1 match last week, when Hai Phong played Dong Tam Long An.
Although Hai Phong lost 0-1, Lam's performance stood out and Miura immediately noted his name.
Apart from Lam, Miura also chose unknown names such as Vuong Quoc Trung (Hai Phong), Le Van Hung (SHB Da Nang) and Michal Nguyen (Becamex Binh Duong), who have often been seen on the benches at V.League. Michal Nguyen has not played a match this season.
The names of best attacking midfielders, Vu Minh Tuan of Quang Ninh, Pham Thanh Luong and Nguyen Van Quyet of Ha Noi T&T, and Nguyen Trong Hoang of Becamex Binh Duong, make for a near-perfect list.
Miura is rumoured to add some names from the U23 squads to make his national team the strongest one.
As planned, the team will start training in about 20 days and will have a test match with the U23 players on May 20. The day after that they will fly to Bangkok to play Thailand in the first Group F match of the World Cup qualifiers on May 24.
At the same time and same venue today, the U23 players will also start training for the Southeast Asian Games. Miura coaches this team as well.
A 30-strong team will work hard for 43 days and will play several friendly and warm-up matches.
Before playing the national team, the young squad will face South Korean U23 this Saturday and another match with a regional team a week later. They will also play two more matches with local teams.
The U23 players are expected to leave for Singapore's Games on May 25.
Viet Nam will play Brunei in their opener in Group B on May 29. — VNS