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|Midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang (in red) at a training session (Photo: VNA)|
Hanoi – The official site of the international governing body of football FIFA.com has posted an article highlighting the role of veteran midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang in the upcoming game against Malaysia in the second round of 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers.
With two draws and four victories, including a 4-0 rout of eliminated Indonesia on June 7, Park Hang-seo's Golden Star Warriors are sitting top of a tricky Group G, it said.
The article continued that a victory against Malaysia on June 11 is likely to seal Vietnam’s maiden progression into the next round - at least as one of the best runners-up - ahead of the closing game against the hosts United Arab Emirates four days later.
In an interview with FIFA.com, Hoang said that Vietnam have never reached the decisive World Cup qualifying round before.
"However, we are now seeing the chance of progressing to the next stage for the first time in history. Playing in the World Cup is the national dream for us Vietnamese. So we play with the country's dream to realise,” he added.
Before arriving to the UAE, coach Park had stated the ambitions of grabbing at least six points from the three remaining matches, he went on.
“We always set the ultimate goals for each match. My team-mates and I will do whatever we can to do our country and supporters proud," Hoang affirmed.
He missed the Indonesia game due to suspension,
In coach Park's line-up - nearly half of which are under 23-years-old – the midfielder is a cornerstone figure. With 70 international appearances, he is the current team's most experienced player, FIFA underlined.
Notably, he was on target in a 2-1 defeat of Qatar on the road to the 2014 World Cup. In the current qualifying campaign, Hoang started in all of the opening five fixtures, including Vietnam’s spirited 1-0 defeat of the UAE.
Vietnam have made remarkable progress since coach Park from the Republic of Korea took over in 2017. Under the manager, they reached the last eight at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup only to be edged out by eventual champions Japan 1-0.
“Even more exciting is the fact that a host of youth talents have been nurtured and form the backbone of the current national team,” it said.