Star goalkeeper Lam to miss World Cup qualifiers hinh anh 1Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam will miss the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in the UAE. (Photo
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Park Hang-seo's national team suffered a blow as starting goalkeeper Dang Van Lam was forced to withdraw from the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in the UAE due to close contact with a COVID-19 patient.

Lam was identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, one of his teammates at Japanese club Cerezo Osaka.

Cerezo Osaka has three goalkeepers, including Lam, one of whom tested positive for the coronavirus. Although Lam has tested negative for the virus, he is still considered a close contact.

After careful consideration, Vietnam’s coaching staff contacted Lam and he agreed to not travel to the UAE to ensure medical safety for the national team.

While disappointed to miss out, Lam sent his best wishes to his Vietnamese teammates in their bid to advance to the final qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup.

For the past three years, Lam has been the starting goalkeeper for the national team and has been a big part of the country's recent success. He moved to Cerezo Osaka in the J1 League earlier this year. 

Lam had been set to fly from Japan to the UAE to join the Vietnamese team on June 1.

The Vietnamese team still have three other goalies including Bui Tan Truong, Nguyen Van Hoang and Nguyen Van Toan. The starting spot is likely to go to Truong thanks to his experience compared to his two young colleagues.

The 35-year-old Truong was called up to the national team for the first time in 2008 under coach Henrique Calisto to prepare for the AFF Cup in the same year. However, at the last minute, he was dropped from the squad and missed the chance to win the Southeast Asian championship for the first time in the history of Vietnamese football.

A few months earlier, Truong and the U23 team won the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia.

In 2009, Truong was the No 1 goalkeeper of the U23 team for the 25th SEA Games in Laos. However, he made a mistake in the final against Malaysia and conceded the only goal of the game, thus losing the gold medal.

In 2010, Truong made a serious mistake in the 2-0 loss of the Vietnamese team to Malaysia in the semi-final first leg of the AFF Cup at Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

These mistakes made Truong lose his spot in the national team.

It wasn't until he shone at Hanoi FC at the end of last year and early this year that the goalkeeper was noticed by Korean coach Park, giving him the opportunity to return to the Vietnamese team./.