THROWBACK: Vietnam’s 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad – where are they now?

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

The past couple of years has seen Vietnam football on the rise so it should come as no surprise that it was two years ago that they graced the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The campaign started promisingly for the Vietnamese as they drew 0-0 with New Zealand, although subsequent defeats to France and Honduras meant they finished bottom of Group E.

Still, the experience certainly served them well and, since the start of last year, they have been runners-up at the AFC U-23 Championship, finished fourth at Asian Games, won the AFF Suzuki Cup and reached the quarter-finals of AFC Asian Cup 2019.

But, just how many of their current stars also featured at the U-20 World Cup two years ago?

FOX Sports Asia takes a walk down memory lane.

THE STAR

The undoubted star of Vietnam at the moment, Nguyen Quang Hai has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past 16 months – being named the Most Valuable Player at last year’s Suzuki Cup before netting a sublime effort at the Asian Cup in a 2-0 win over Yemen that sealed his team’s progress to the knockout round.

Quang Hai in action at last year’s Suzuki Cup final.

The silky-skilled playmaker with a wand of a left foot has long been tipped for a move abroad but Hanoi FC have thus far been unwilling to cash in on him, and he continues to play an important role for them at V.League 1 and AFC Cup level.

Nonetheless, given his exquisite ability, the hope is that he gets to further his career sooner rather than later.

THE A-GRADERS

While Quang Hai has largely hogged the headlines, another equally-impressive youngster has been Doan Van Hau at left-back.

Still only 20, Van Hau shows maturity beyond his years and was even rumoured to have caught the interest of Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach.

Van Hau takes on a formidable foe in Ashkan Dejagah at the Asian Cup.

Tran Dinh Trong, also of Hanoi, usually goes about his business without much fuss and flies under the radar, but promises to be a mainstay of the Vietnam defence for the next decade.

THE HOPEFULS

Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung came to the fore at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship with his penalty shootout heroics but has failed to kick on and is not first-choice for club and country, although there is no doubting his potential.

Tien Dung was one of Vietnam’s heroes at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship.

With Nguyen Anh Duc getting on in his years, Nguyen Tien Linh shapes as a natural successor to lead the Vietnam attack and became the youngest player to score four goals in a V.League 1 match last season, although he needs to force his way into the Becamex Binh Duong starting XI.

One man that has been getting regular game time is Tong Anh Ty, who has been impressive in Binh Duong’s run to the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone semi-finals, and could soon earn his first call-up to the senior national team.

Vietnam squad – 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup
GOALKEEPERS:
Bui Tien Dung, Ba Minh Hieu, Do Sy Huy
DEFENDERS: Do Thanh Thinh, Huynh Tan Sinh, Ho Tan Tai, Doan Van Hau, Phan Thanh Hau, Nguyen Trong Dai, Tran Dinh Trong
MIDFIELDERS:
Tong Anh Ty, Dinh Thanh Binh, Ho Minh Di, Luong Hoang Nam, Nguyen Hoang Duc, Tran Thanh Son, Duong Van Hao, Nguyen Quang Hai
FORWARDS:
Ha Duc Chinh, Nguyen Tien Linh, Tran Thanh

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