Midfielder Trương Văn Thái Quý of Hà Nội FC seen in the recent National Cup’s final. — Photo toquoc.vn
HÀ NỘI — Trương Văn Thái Quý may have only come on for the final minutes of normal time in the National Cup Final, but the midfielder made a huge impact.
The 23-year-old Hà Nội FC midfielder scored one goal and assisted another to make sure his side came from behind and lifted the trophy with a 2-1 win on September 20.
Though favoured against capital rivals Viettel thanks to their star power, Hà Nội found themselves a goal down in the 75th minute after Nguyễn Hoàng Đức's cutback allowed Trần Ngọc Sơn to score.
The late goal put Hà Nội in danger of losing the final at their home ground of Hàng Đẫy Stadium, but Quý wasn't about to let that happen.
Six minutes after the opening goal, Nguyễn Thành Chung used his chest to knock a lofted ball down into the path of Quý, who smashed an unstoppable drive into the net.
Hà Nội's players regained their self-confidence after the equaliser and put tremendous pressure on their rival’s defence.
Quý was involved with the winning goal as well, using his head to tee up star midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải to volley into the net in the 88th minute, securing the 2-1 win for Hà Nội.
The defending V.League 1 champions have had many key players injured, giving opportunities for young players like Bùi Hoàng Việt Anh, Lê Văn Xuân, Đậu Văn Toàn and Quý.
“With a team with a lot of stars, I always have to try harder every time I go on the pitch as well as in training so that the coaching staff can realise my ability,” said Quý.
“I myself always learn from better players to make me better,” Quý added.
Quý is the youngest in a family of six siblings from Đông Hà City, Quảng Trị Province. His father was a security guard while his mother had no stable job. The family's income was precarious. So, from a young age, Quý had to help support his family.
Accustomed to farming and manual labour, at only 12 years old Quý could carry a bag of rice weighing up to 50kg. After hours of hard work, he spent his free time playing football with friends in the fields covered with straw.
Although Quý’s parents had financial difficulties, they didn’t oppose their son chasing a career in football. At the age of 12, Quý failed to win a spot at the renowned Hoàng Anh Gia Lai – Arsenal JMG Academy after a trial.
Later, after learning that the Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent (PVF) Football Training Centre was taking on young platers, Quý’s mother helped him get a trial and when she learned that it went well, she was also the most enthusiastic supporter of her son.
At the age of 13, Quý started training in HCM City. But his biggest difficulty was still overcoming the tough tests of the PVF.
The turning point came for Quý in the final round of the National U13 Football Championship 2010 when he helped Quảng Trị win the championship. After that, Quý won the championship at the national U15, U17 and U19 levels, and opened the door to the national U19 team.
Midfielder Trương Văn Thái Quý hopes to be called to the senior team in the upcoming time. — Photo oxii.vn
Doors to national teams
Thanks to his good physical qualities and tactical acumen, Quý quickly proved his prowess.
Under the guidance of coach Hoàng Anh Tuấn, Quý and the national U19 team reached the semi-finals of the AFC U19 Championship 2016 and won a spot at the FIFA U20 World Cup 2017. But during a training camped in Germany, Quý got injured and missed the tournament, to his great regret.
Thanks to being trained at the PVF and his obvious quality, Quý quickly caught the eye of senior national team coach Park Hang-seo.
The player from Quảng Trị was named in the U23 list that made history in the AFC U23 Championship 2018 in which Việt Nam were the runners-up. However, Lương Xuân Trường and Phạm Đức Huy had a firm grip on the two central midfield spots, so Quý mostly watched from the bench.
In the qualifying round of AFC U23 Championship 2020 in March last year, Quý really shone. In the opening match against Brunei, Quý performed extremely impressively to help Việt Nam win 6-0.
In the match against Thailand, Quý and Việt Hưng played extremely well, contributing to Việt Nam's historic 4-0 victory over their bitter rivals.
Late last year, although Quý was only a reserve player in the line-up of U22 national team competing in the Southeast Asian Games but every time he entered the field, he played well, and then he and his teammates won the SEA Games gold medal after 60 years of waiting.
According to Quý, his biggest goal at present is to be called up to the national senior team.
That goal may be closer than ever, as coach Park was in the stands at the National Cup final and saw Quý's stellar performance. — VNS