Monday , July 22 2024

Vietnam star striker ‘player to watch’ at Asian Cup

The Asian Football Confederation as named striker Pham Tuan Hai as Vietnam’s “Player to Watch” at the upcoming Asian Cup.

AFC has curated a list of notable stars tipped to shine at the continent’s biggest competition in January.

It wrote about Hai: “Since reaching the quarter-finals at AFC Asian Cup in 2019, Vietnam have seen a number of new stars emerge, and Pham Tuan Hai has developed into one of the most talked-about players in the Southeast Asian nation.”

Pham Tuan Hai celebrates after scoring in Vietnams 1-0 victory against Syria in a friendly match in June 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Pham Tuan Hai celebrates after scoring in Vietnam’s 1-0 victory against Syria in a friendly match in June 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

The article notes that Hai had four starts at the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and scored his first international goal against Afghanistan. AFC believes the Hanoi FC’s striker is having an increasing influence on the Vietnam national team.

“Tuan Hai is one that could light up the upcoming AFC Asian Cup, with the in-form Hanoi FC man displaying his considerable potential in the recently concluded AFC Champions League 2023-24 group stage,” it said.

Hai is one of the five strikers to get the call up to the national team in preparation for the 2023 Asian Cup, alongside Nguyen Tien Linh, Nguyen Van Toan, Nguyen Dinh Bac, and Nguyen Van Tung. Thanks to his scintillating form at both national and club levels, Hai is regarded as a heavy contender for the 2023 Vietnam Golden Ball. He is among the 5 players shortlisted for the award, along with midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc, goalkeeper Dang Van Lam, and defenders Ho Tan Tai and Bui Hoang Viet Anh.

The national team will train in Hanoi until Jan. 5 before departing for Qatar for the 2023 Asian Cup. They will have a friendly against Kyrgyzstan on Jan. 9 before facing Japan in the Group D opener five days later.

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