FIFA Senior Team Ranking: 102
Nickname: Những Chú Rồng Vàng (The Golden Dragons)
Last official match played: Vietnam 2-2 Myanmar (August 6, 2018)
Coach: Vũ Hồng Việt
Football in Vietnam has had a fractured existence with the long-drawn Civil War resulting in the formation of two separate teams for the North and the South.
While North Vietnam was relatively inactive in the time of its existence, South Vietnam achieved a couple of fourth place finishes in the 1956 and 1960 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.
It was only as late as 1991 did Vietnam field its first ever unified team in an international match against Singapore which ended in a draw.
The senior team is yet to qualify for any FIFA World Cup while their record on the continental stage is nothing to write home about either. After their fourth place finish in the 1960 AFC Asian Cup, Vietnam’s next qualification to the event came in 2007 where they advanced to the quarter-final.
The U16 side, meanwhile, has performed much better comparatively at the continental level having qualified for the AFC U16 Championship on six separate occasions. Their last participation came in the 2016 edition held in India where they achieved their best-ever finish by reaching the quarter-final.
The Vietnam U16 are also three-time winners of the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Cup with the last of their titles coming in 2017.
ROAD TO MALAYSIA
Vietnam’s youth teams have been making rapid strides in the continent of late and they will be keen to go at least one step further than their quarter-final finish in the 2016 edition held in India.
Coached by Vũ Hồng Việt, the Golden Dragons booked their tickets to the continental showdown in Malaysia by finishing second in their qualification group which also included heavyweights Australia.
The team beat Cambodia and Mongolia comfortably including a 9-0 win over the latter while losing 1-3 to the Aussies. They qualified for the main event courtesy of being one of the six best teams to finish second in their respective qualifying groups.
In its preparations for the Malaysia tournament, the squad underwent a training camp in Japan at the start of the year where they also participated in the Japan-ASEAN friendly football tournament. The team finished second in the tournament after being beaten 0-1 by fellow Group C rivals Indonesia in the final.
Their most recent participation in a tournament came in the 2018 AFF Cup held in July this year where they entered as the defending champions.
Unfortunately for the Golden Dragons, they were unable to repeat their 2017 heroics after crashing out in the group stages. The team finished third in their respective group after suffering another defeat (2-4) at the hands of their Group C rivals Indonesia and crashed out of the reckoning.
|Players To Watch Out For|
Dinh Thanh Trung: The attacking midfielder is the star and the heartbeat of the team. Trung plays for Hanoi-based Viettel FC who are currently plying their trade in the Vietnamese League two. He finished as the second highest goal-scorer behind Indonesia’s Amiruddin Bagus Kahfi in the recent AFF Cup with eight goals in five matches.
Nguyen Quoc Hoang: Just like Trung, Hoang is another Vietnamese player who provides the goal threat from the midfield. The youngster is a product of the Song Lam Nghe An FC who ply their trade in the top division of the Vietnamese League. Hoang finished as the joint fourth highest goal-scorer in the AFF Cup after getting himself on the scoresheet on three separate occasions.