|Goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm will miss the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in the UAE. Photo baodansinh.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Park Hang-seo's national team suffered a blow on Saturday, as starting goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm was forced to withdraw from the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in the UAE due to close contact with a COVID-19 patient.
Lâm was identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, one of his teammates at Japanese club Cerezo Osaka.
Cerezo Osaka has three goalkeepers, including Lâm, one of whom tested positive for the coronavirus. Although Lâm has tested negative for the virus, he is still considered a close contact.
After careful consideration, the Việt Nam coaching staff contacted Lâm and he agreed to not travel to the UAE to ensure medical safety for the national team.
While disappointed to miss out, Lâm sent his best wishes to his Vietnamese teammates in their bid to advance to the final qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup.
For the past three years, Lâm has been the starting goalkeeper for the national team and has been a big part of the country's recent success. He moved to Cerezo Osaka in the J1 League earlier this year.
Lâm had been set to fly from Japan to the UAE to join the Vietnamese team tomorrow.
The Vietnamese team still have three other goalies including Bùi Tấn Trường, Nguyễn Văn Hoàng and Nguyễn Văn Toản. The starting spot is likely to go to Trường thanks to his experience compared to his two young colleagues.
The 35-year-old Trường was called up to the national team for the first time in 2008 under coach Henrique Calisto to prepare for the AFF Cup in the same year. However, at the last minute, he was dropped from the squad and missed the chance to win the Southeast Asian championship for the first time in the history of Vietnamese football.
A few months earlier, Trường and the U23 team won the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia.
In 2009, Trường was the No 1 goalkeeper of the U23 team for the 25th SEA Games in Laos. However, he made a mistake in the final against Malaysia and conceded the only goal of the game, thus losing the gold medal.
In 2010, Trường made a serious mistake in the 2-0 loss of the Vietnamese team to Malaysia in the semi-final first leg of the AFF Cup at Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
These mistakes made Trường lose his spot in the national team.
It wasn't until he shone at Hà Nội FC at the end of last year and early this year that the goalkeeper was noticed by South Korean coach Park, giving him the opportunity to return to the Vietnamese team. VNS