The Golden Dragons are on the cusp of creating history. After four rounds of fixtures, they are facing Japan in the Quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup 2019. A win here would see them reach the semifinals, their best-ever position in the competition. And they would need these five players to be at their best yet again.
#5 Doan Van Hau (LWB)
Still just 19, Doan Van Hau has a bright future ahead of him; that is certainly what his performances have shown so far.
The youngster has been involved in all four of Vietnam’s games, starting three of them. The left wing-back has been a rock at the back, making ten clearances and even maintaining nearly 60 per cent success rate in duels; an aspect which was clearly visible when he kept Jordan’s Musa Al-Taamari quite in the quarterfinal.
Van Hau has proved to be an attacking threat as well and even came close to scoring a goal against Jordan after some good build-up play.
#4 Do Hung Dung (CM)
Vietnam are heading into their Golden Age, considering some of their best performers are still under 23 years of age!
However, Do Hung Dung is one of the more experienced ones. The 25-year-old midfielder first impressed during the AFF Suzuki Cup, which allowed him to retain his position in the roster for the AFC Asian Cup.
Hung Dung has been instrumental for the Golden Dragons in the middle of the park, where he acts as a channel between the defenders and the forwards as they look to break with speed. So far he has played a total of One hundred and Ninety-seven passes in four games, maintaining an 80 per cent success rate.
#3 Nguyen Cong Phuong (FW)
Nguyen Cong Phuong had big boots to fill in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The 24-year-old forward was picked ahead of Nguyen Anh Duc to lead Vietnam from the front. And so far, he has done just that.
Cong Phuong has been a constant danger-man for the opposing defences so far in the competition and has scored two very important goals. The second of those goals helped the Golden Dragons get level on terms against Jordan, and eventually, beat them on penalties.
#2 Que Ngoc Hai (CB)
AFC Asian Cup 2019: Vietnam 2-0 Yemen – Que Ngoc Hai (65′)
Vietnam are a strong side defensively and much of their game plan depends on frustrating the opponents and catching them off-guard. If there is a player who personifies this tactic, it is centre-back Que Ngoc Hai.
The 25-year-old defender has been absolutely immense for the Golden Dragons so far and remains one of the few players to have played the full 390 minutes.
During this time, Ngoc Hai has made Twenty-four clearances, while also racking up four blocks, and four interceptions. Furthermore, he has been his team’s highest passer, playing a staggering Two Hundred and Twenty passes with an accuracy of 83.2 per cent.
Ngoc Hai also has one goal to his name, a penalty against Yemen. While he also stepped up to take a spot kick against Jordan as they beat them 4-2 in the shootout.
#1 Nguyen Quang Hai (FW)
What a year it has been for Nguyen Quang Hai! This time last year, the youngster was displaying his talent in the AFC U-23 Championships and scoring goals for fun. Fast forward twelve months, and the 21-year-old is an AFC U-23 runner-up and an AFF Suzuki Cup winner.
Moreover, Quang Hai has been able to firmly establish his place in the starting XI for Vietnam, proving his value time and again.
Continuing his good form, the youngster has been superb for the Golden Dragons in the AFC Asian Cup. He is currently second in the passing charts with Two Hundred and Thirteen passes and has even contributed with a goal.