Top Striker Cong Vinh out of Viet Nam’s Beijing Olympic 2008 Qualifiers

Viet Nam’s Beijing Olympic 2008 qualifying campaign stuttered with top striker Le Cong Vinh’s injury. The Song Lam Nghe An Club’s striker sustained a leg injury in Saturday’s match against Khatoco Khanh Hoa. Unsurprisingly, he was not then named in the Vietnamese squad for the trip to Oman.

Viet Nam's Olympic football squad

“Cong Vinh needs to take a vacation after playing many matches for his club, the national team and the Olympic team” Song Lam Nghe An’s manager Ho Van Chiem said. Cong Vinh netted one goal and gave striker Phuc Hiep a perfect pass to cement the final score as a 2-0 victory for Viet Nam against Olympic Lebanon.

He also scored the match-winning goal in Viet Nam’s 1-0 defeat against rivals Indonesia. “His loss is a major blow for us,” the national squad’s coach Mai Duc Chung said. The Vietnamese squad will play at Oman’s capital city, Muscat, for its group C Olympic qualifier against the host team today. Coach Chung hopes his squad can rack up at least one point in today’s match.

Dong Thap Club’s midfielder Quy Suu will also miss the game as he picked up a leg injury in the match against Da Nang Club.

The Oman squad is itching for a win this game after their defeating blow by Lebanon in their second Olympic match. Oman was the winner of the 1996 and 2000 Asia U-17 International Cup, and they reached the semi-finals of the 1995 U-17 World Cup. 

Reporters of Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper caught up with Coach Mai Duc Chung to get information about the Vietnamese squad’s preparation before the upcoming match.

Reporter: Injury forced you to drop striker Cong Vinh and midfielder Quy Suu from the squad for the Olympic qualifier against Oman. How do you propose to deal with this?

Coach Mai Duc Chung: Due to their injuries, the Vietnamese squad traveled to Oman with only 16 players. I have many choices for Quy Suu’s place, but only Thanh Binh can fill Cong Vinh’s place.

How will the squad play in the match today?

The host team will be keeping the pressure on and so I will use a defensive formation in today’s match. I asked my boys to be steady on the field.

What will the players have to do if they want to gain a good result in the match?

We are looking for a draw, but that’s a tough mission. To tie this match, the squad will have to pull together and play defensively.

By staff writers - Translated by Hoang Uy

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