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Vietnam makes biggest surprise at 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers: FIFA

Vietnam proved the biggest surprise packages by sealing maiden progression to the third round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, FIFA affirmed in its article summarising the second round’s results.

The second round saw the emergence of Vietnam, the article wrote. “Having reached the last eight in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the team continued to make progress on the continental stage under coach Park Hangseo”.

Entering the back-end of the campaign as group leaders, the Vietnamese registered back-to-back victories against Indonesia and Malaysia and advanced as one of the best second placed finishers, despite narrowly losing to hosts UAE 3-2 in the concluder, it added.

FIFA also commended striker Nguyen Tien Linh. “A host of players announced stepped into the spotlight to help their respective teams through. Notable among them was 23-year-old striker Nguyen Tien Linh, who struck four times, including scoring the match-winning goal in the first-leg meeting against UAE, to help his side achieve breakthrough progress,” it wrote.

Prestigious statistics firm We Global Football assessed the chance for Vietnam to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is 4.44 percent.

Among the 12 teams, Vietnam’s chances are just higher than China’s at 3.68 percent and Lebanon’s at 1.88 percent.

The third round is scheduled to take place from September 2, 2021 to March 29, 2022.

The draw for this round will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 1 instead of June 24 as initially scheduled./