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05/07/2024 - 14:40

Vietnamese team to play friendly matches against India, Lebanon

The Vietnamese national team is scheduled to play friendly matches against India and Lebanon on FIFA Days in October.

The Vietnamese national team seen at a recent training session (Photo VFF)

"We have invited India and Lebanon to be friendly opponents of the Vietnamese team. The details are currently being finalised before an official announcement," said Duong Nghiep Khoi, General Secretary of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has also confirmed that their national team will travel to Vietnam to compete in the international friendly tournament organised by the VFF, though the specific location has not yet been chosen.

India and Lebanon are ranked 124th and 117th, respectively, in the latest FIFA rankings, so compared to Vietnam's ranking of 116th, they are considered to be at a similar level.

The Vietnamese team defeated India 3-0 in a friendly match at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City in 2022, which was when Korean coach Park Hang-seo introduced quality players like Khuat Van Khang and Pham Dinh Duy.

Park is currently one of the candidates for the vacant head coach position of the Indian national team, after India parted ways with coach Igor Stimac for failing to lead the team to the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in Asia.

The AIFF may consider appointing coach Park, given his successful tenure with Vietnam from 2017 to 2023, which included a runner-up spot at the AFC U23 Championship, winning the AFF Cup 2018, reaching the quarter-finals of the 2019 Asian Cup, and securing Vietnam's first-ever third-round World Cup qualification, as well as two gold medals at the SEA Games.

With the third round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the 2027 Asian Cup qualifiers approaching, finding high-quality friendly opponents is crucial for Vietnam, India and Lebanon, as they aim to accumulate points and improve their FIFA rankings to secure favourable seedings for upcoming competitions.

The VFF hopes that the October FIFA Days will be an important opportunity for Vietnam's coach Kim Sang-sik and his team to prepare for the 2024 ASEAN Cup, which will begin in November.

Under coach Kim's leadership, Vietnam won 3-2 against the Philippines and lost 1-3 to Iraq in the final round of the second qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup./.