HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and Oman have both named uncapped players in their squads for their World Cup qualifying clash in Hà Nội.
Coach Park Hang-seo introduced some unexpected faces, who have won his trust after just three rounds of the V.League 1, which started late last month.
Park, who recovered from COVID-19 last week, called up 28 players; four goalkeepers, 11 defenders, eight midfielders and five forwards.
Keeper Nguyễn Tuấn Mạnh and midfielders Nguyễn Tuấn Anh and Nguyễn Hải Huy return to the team after missing out against China.
Joining them are three new faces – goalie Vũ Tuyên Quang and defenders Nguyễn Văn Vĩ and Adriano Schmidt.
Schmidt is a Vietnamese-German player who has played at the V.League 1 since the 2018 season. The 27-year-old competed for Hải Phòng for four years before moving to Bình Định this season.
The 1.84m defender will be expected to strengthen Việt Nam’s backline against Oman on March 24 at Mỹ Đình National Stadium and again against Japan five days later.
He made headlines as an overseas Vietnamese player whose dream of playing for the national team member came true after years of effort.
Việt Nam will be without the services of multi-purposed midfielder Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng, who has herniated disc and defenders Đỗ Duy Mạnh and Đoàn Văn Hậu, and goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm, who all suffer from injuries.
Players will start training on Tuesday in Hà Nội.
Việt Nam are at the bottom of Group B with three points, while Oman are at fourth with eight points. Both have no chance of qualifying for the World Cup.
Oman coach Branko Ivankovic also announced a 29-strong team made up of U23 players on Saturday.
To prepare for the Asian Cup next year, Ivankovic has dropped his older players, such as keeper Faiz Al-Rushaidi, midfielder Harib Al-Saadi, forward Khalid Al-Hajri and skipper Mohsin Al-Khaldi, all key members previously.
New faces are forward Muhsen Al-Ghassani, 21, and midfielders Zahir Al-Aghbari, 22, and Salaah Al Yahyaei, 23. They are the rising stars of Oman’s football.
Việt Nam lost 3-1 to Oman last October in Muscat.
The match in Mỹ Đình will welcome up to 20,000 spectators, all of whom are fully vaccinated and must strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K messages, including completing a health declaration.
They are recommended to undergo a COVID-19 test before entering the stadium and shouldn’t go there if they have any COVID symptoms.
This is Việt Nam’s last qualification at home.
In other news, as Park is busy with the World Cup campaign, his assistant Lee Young-Jin will take charge of the national U23 team competing at the International Dubai Cup on March 23-29.
Lee has played a key role in Park’s coaching board since his first days in Việt Nam. He will be assisted by coach Ngô Tuấn Vinh, goalkeeping coach Nguyễn Đức Cảnh and fitness trainer Cedric Roger.
The 32 players selected will practise alongside the national team in Hà Nội. They will fly to Dubai on March 20.
Việt Nam will play Iraq on March 26 and Croatia three days later. — VnExpress News
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