Meet the Finalists: Vietnam
Changzhou: As Saturday’s AFC U23 Championship final between Vietnam and Uzbekistan looms ever larger, join the-AFC.com as we take a closer look at the Vietnam players who could well be vying for glory at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Center.
VIETNAM (starting 11 versus Qatar in semi-finals)
BUI TIEN DUNG
Shirt Number: 1, Club: FLC Thanh Hoa, Age: 20
First appeared for Vietnam at the AFC U-19 Championship 2016 in Bahrain, and was part of the senior team during the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers. The goalkeeper has certainly played his part at the AFC U23 Championship, starring during the semi-final penalty shootout victory over Qatar when he saved two spot kicks to help send Vietnam through.
PHAM XUAN MANH
Shirt Number: 2, Club: Song Lam Nghe An, Age: 21
Can play as either a midfielder or defender. Has started the last two games for his country and made his first team debut for club side Song Lam Nghe An in 2016. The AFC U23 Championship looks set to stand the 21-year-old in good stead ahead of an upcoming AFC Cup campaign with his club, starting with a tie against Singapore’s Tampines Rovers in February.
BUI TIEN DUNG
Shirt Number: 4, Club: Viettel FC, Age: 22
The central defender, who plays for Viettel FC in Vietnam’s second division, is already vastly experienced at international level. First appeared for Vietnam at the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship, before being called up to represent his country at the U23 Championship’s 2016 edition in Qatar. Also featured for the senior side during the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers.
LUONG XUAN TRUONG
Shirt Number: 6, Club: Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC, Age: 22
Another vastly experienced international, having played at the AFC U-19 Championship in 2014, the 2016 AFC U23 Championship and during Vietnam’s AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers. A dynamic midfielder who has featured for both Incheon United and Gangwon FC in the K League. A vital cog in the heart of the Vietnamese side. Ever-present in China.
PHAM DUC HUY
Shirt Number: 8, Club: Hanoi FC, Age: 23
The talented midfielder has also come through the Vietnam ranks, and was a part of his country’s sides at the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship and the AFC U23 Championship two years ago in Qatar. Helped his club to the V.League title in 2016 and then played in Hanoi’s AFC Cup campaign the following year during which he scored against Malaysia’s FELDA United.
NGUYEN CONG PHUONG
Shirt Number: 10, Club: Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC, Age: 23
The 23-year-old forward opened the scoring against Iraq in the 12th minute of Vietnam’s AFC U23 Championship quarter-final, helping his side ultimately secure the victory courtesy of a penalty shootout. Has impressed many during the tournament and, along with Phan Van Duc, has proved to be a constant menace to opposing defences.
DO DUY MANH
Shirt Number: 11, Club: Hanoi FC, Age: 21
Named the 2015 V.League Best Young Player, the defender is undoubtedly one of the brightest up and coming youngsters in Vietnam. With 2012 AFC U-16 Championship, AFC Champions League and AFC Cup experience already under his belt, Duy Manh looks set to be a constant presence in Vietnam’s national side.
PHAN VAN DUC
Shirt Number: 14, Club: Song Lam Nghe An, Age: 21
The forward first featured for Vietnam during the AFC U-19 Championship 2014 Qualifiers. Scored a crucial goal against Iraq to give his side the lead in the last eight encounter, and has proven to be a tireless worker who was in the starting eleven for both the quarter-final and semi-final successes.
VU VAN THANH
Shirt Number: 17, Club: Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC, Age: 21
The defender’s performances with Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC in 2016 earned him that season’s V.League Best Young Player award. With experience ranging from the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers to the 2016 AFC U23 Championship in Qatar, it is little surprise he has started all five of Vietnam’s games in China.
NGUYEN QUANG HAI
Shirt Number: 19, Club: Hanoi FC, Age: 20
Has given the Vietnam’s fans plenty of reason to cheer during the AFC U23 Championship. Scored in the Group D game against Korea Republic, and then added a vital late goal against Syria to revive Vietnam’s qualification hopes. He grabbed more headlines when he scored twice in the semi-final against Qatar which Vietnam went on to win via a penalty shootout.
TRAN DINH TRONG
Shirt Number: 21, Club: Saigon FC, Age: 20
The defender gained valuable experience during last May’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic. Another member of the squad who has started all of Vietnam’s AFC U23 Championship 2018 matches.