Asian expert: ‘Vietnam has succeeded in qualifying for the World Cup’
Fox Sports expert Rhysh Rai said that while losing a lot, Vietnam has had valuable experiences in the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup – Asia region.
– The third qualifying round of the World Cup 2022 – Asia region has ended with Vietnam. Which Vietnamese player impressed you the most?
– Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyen Hoang Duc made the strongest impression. Both are at a high level and are always confident against top Asian rivals. Midfielder Nguyen Tuan Anh also played a few good matches in this round. In addition, I also appreciate striker Nguyen Tien Linh, who has scored eight goals in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. He plays well and is aggressive in Vietnam’s attack.
– What do you think about Vietnam’s performance in this round?
– Overall, Vietnam’s performance is very good when this is the first time they have reached this round. Confronting the top Asian teams is not easy, so there are not many Southeast Asian teams that make it to this round. Vietnam have performed well in a few matches, and maybe they don’t get the results they deserve. In general, Vietnam has introduced itself well to the top teams in the continent. But of course there’s still a lot of room for them to improve, to make sure they play regularly, and win more at this level.
– So can what Vietnam shows as success or failure?
– I think they succeeded in getting to this round. They also succeeded in winning a match against China. In terms of results and points, they did better than Thailand in the third qualifying round of the 2018 World Cup in Asia. At that time Thailand did not win any matches, and only earned two points. But Vietnam also won only one match and drew one match, which means this round is very difficult for Southeast Asian teams.
– What is the difference between the level of Southeast Asian teams and the top competitors in the continent?
– Asian teams are stronger technically, tactically and physically. They have developed very well the domestic league, and created good youth training programs. They also have many players playing abroad, in strong leagues whether in Asia or Europe. Japan and Korea have a lot of players in Europe. Iran has a few players in Europe, but their league is very strong. Saudi Arabia also has a top league.
– When will Southeast Asian teams be able to catch up with the European level?
This question is not easy to answer. It also depends on what Southeast Asian teams can do to train youth and invest in infrastructure. We need to see how the players in the league develop, how competitive the quality of the league is. There are many other factors that need to be taken into account in order to be able to answer any question.
– Which team in Southeast Asia has the best chance to catch up to the top level in Asia?
– Currently Vietnam and Thailand, the two strongest teams in Southeast Asia. But clearly there is still a big gap between them and the Asian class. But Vietnam is to be commended for reaching this round, and performing impressively in certain matches. They must take advantage of this opportunity and experience to continue to grow. Do not waste.
Rhysh Rai is one of the official commentators of the AFF Cup 2020, selected by the organizers. He has 10 years of experience as a commentator and analyst for the channel Fox Sports, AFC nice Disney+. Rai is knowledgeable about Asian and European football.
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