Vietnam staged a comeback to beat Iraq 2-1 in a friendly game in the UAE on Monday night in their preparation for the play-off to win a ticket to the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.
The game took place behind closed doors and without media coverage.
According to Tran Anh Tu, a standing member of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), who is also head of the Vietnamese futsal delegation to the UAE, Iraq mainly defended and counterattacked in the first half.
Vietnam dominated the game and created a lot of chances.
However, a mistake in the Vietnamese defense line lent the Iraqis a chance to score the opening goal.
But before the end of the first half, Pham Duc Hoa managed to net the equalizer for Vietnam after several misses.
In the second half, although Iraq organized more attacks, Vietnam still controlled the game before raising the goal difference to 2-1 in the 35th minute, when Dac Huy headed home after Chau Doan Phat’s shot bounced off.
The score remained unchanged until the referee blew the whistle to end play.
The 2-1 victory uplifted the entire Vietnamese national men’s futsal team, according to Tu.
“The match against Iraq certainly helped the coaching staff learn a lot of experience and point out things they need to overcome before playing the official matches against Lebanon,” Tu said, referring to the two-legged play-off comprising two games at 10:00 pm on May 23 and May 25 (Vietnam time).
The goal of the Vietnamese national futsal team is to win a ticket to the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the second time, after the first one in 2016 in Colombia.
At the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, Vietnam not only unexpectedly made it to the finals, but also played jubilantly and reached the Round of 16.
The 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be held in Lithuania from September 12 to October 13 this year.
The quadrennial international futsal championship was originally scheduled to run from September 12 to October 4, 2020 as the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together with Lithuania who qualify automatically as hosts, 23 other teams from six separate continental competitions will compete in the final tournament.
National team players to face draining 2021 run
Multiple domestic and international tournaments will exhaust national team players in the last months of 2021.
After passing the second round of World Cup qualifiers for the first time in history, the national team will have nearly three months to prepare before the third round begins in September. However, during that time gap, the players will continue to partake in domestic and international club tournaments. Many key players of the national team representing Viettel FC and Hanoi FC will go overseas to play the group stage of AFC Champions League and AFC Cup, set to complete by mid-July.
When the players return to Vietnam, they will continue the second phase of V. League from late July to late August. Then, without any rest, they will gather with the national team to prepare for the third World Cup qualifying round that will start on Sept. 2. But that’s not all. After six games of World Cup qualifiers, the players will begin their journey to defend their AFF Cup title, which is set to take place from Dec. 5 to 31.
Therefore, by calculation, national team players might have to play around 18 to 23 matches from late July until this year ends, which will squeeze their stamina to the last drop.
With such a tight schedule, the players can get injured and exhausted, which will directly affect tournament results as well as the goals of Vietnamese football this year. This is a make-or-break situation for the national team, so to ensure the best conditions for players, medical and nutritional care is crucial in keeping the players healthy and charged for the long run. To do that, coordination between clubs and the national team is key.
The pressure on head coach Park Hang-seo will be huge as well. Because aside from the World Cup qualifiers and AFF Cup, he will also have to coach the U22 team at SEA Games 31 to defend their 2019 gold medal.
One suggestion would be sending the national team to compete in the World Cup qualifiers, while the U23 team plus two experienced players play AFF Cup and SEA Games 31. That way, the workload will be reduced for the national team and young players will have the opportunity to gain more international experience.
Coach Park writes encouraging letter to players
After the historic advance to the final World Cup qualifying round, coach Park Hang-seo has sent players a letter of appreciation and encouragement.
“In the last three games of the second round, we have worked together and advanced to the final round of World Cup qualifiers. This has always been our goal and I’m so delighted about it. I want to thank all the players for believing in me, for giving their best effort with the highest spirit and the assistants who have devoted themselves selflessly day and night to support the team, as well as other members that have tried their best to complete the job,” he wrote.
“Let’s always give our best and be proud that you are a part of the team that have written a new chapter in the history of Vietnamese football.”
He asked the players to enjoy the time with their families during this short break, before going back to their World Cup campaign.
They will have much to do in the road ahead, Park said, promising he will try his best to complete his job.
“We will have to prepare for the final round of World Cup qualifiers in September, to face the top teams in Asia. We need to be more focused, physically, mentally and tactically. If we can stay united and keep giving our best, I believe we can achieve our goal.”
In the second round of World Cup qualifiers, Vietnam went unbeaten in seven games before losing to the UAE in the last match. They advanced to the third round as one of the five best second-placed teams.
The Golden Dragons are set to return to training in August to prepare for the third round, which will take place between Sept. 2, 2021 and March 29, 2022.
Concert on 20th century’s musical pieces to be held online
The fourth concert of the “Music of the 20th Century” series will be broadcast live via Facebook page of the Goethe Institut Vietnam on June 28, in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the institute has announced.
|The banner of the event. (Photo: www.goethe.de)|
The concert series introduces compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries by important living or deceased world-famous composers.
The performers are soloists and lecturers from the Vietnam National Academy of Music and the Inspirito School of Music, notably trumpeter Urushihara Yuki, percussionist Kyle Acuncius, violist Patcharaphan Khumprakob, oboeist Hoang Manh Lam, and pianists Luu Duc Anh and Hoang Ho Thu, among others.
The whole programme promises to be a colourful picture with different styles from many different countries. Starting with Medtners musical style which is strongly influenced by the Romantic tradition, and expanding to very special creations and languages written for the piano by Barber, Ligeti, Ornstein or Japanese composer Hosokawa Toshio.
The soloists of this concerts will in addition explore how modern composers exploit different technique of composing and performing on other instruments such as oboe, trumpet, viola, and percussion or even on a toy piano with works by Goldmann, Vizutti, Hindemith, David Lang and Cangelosi.
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