Update: 11:44 | 30/08/2021
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam returned to practice with his teammates in Saudi Arabia Saturday as Vietnam prepare for the third round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Lam, the custodian in Vietnam's major successes in recent years, has been absent from the national scene since the 0-0 match with Thailand at Hanoi's My Dinh Stadium in November 2019, the second round of the World Cup qualifiers. He left for Japan to play for Cerezo Osaka and then the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Dang Van Lam (second from right) practices with Vietnam national football team in Saudi Arabia.
Stepping into Lam’s shoes during his absence was veteran goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong.
To rejoin his teammates, Lam flew to Doha, Qatar and then took a jet with the team to Saudi Arabia. Besides Lam, coach Park Hang-seo has also chosen goalkeepers Truong and Nguyen Van Toan to be part of the training contingent.
After having their samples collected for Covid-19 testing at the Riyadh airport, Lam and his teammates were quarantined until their results were released. As they tested negative, they began practice Saturday evening.
This is the first time that Vietnam are in the final qualifying round for the World Cup.
They lack several key midfielders and defenders due to injuries.