Update: 20:00 | 21/09/2021
Vietnam will take on Group B winners Russia in the knockout stage of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 on September 22 as Pham Minh Giang’s troops look to make the quarterfinals for the first time ever.
The Southeast Asian side put in an emotional display against the Czech Republic in their last Group D fixture on Sunday night (Sept. 19).
After a first-half stalemate, Chau Doan Phat opened the scoring for Vietnam with five minutes to go, but Czech captain Resetar then equalised leaving the final score at 1-1.
Vietnamese and Czech players in action during their Group D match on September 19.
The draw steered both teams through to the last 16, with Vietnam advancing as one of the four best third-placed teams, marking the second consecutive time they have gone this far in the Futsal World Cup arena.
Shortly after the match ended, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) decided to grant a bonus of VND800 million (over US$34,900) to the national futsal team. In addition, they received another bonus of VND200 million (US$8,700) from the Voice of Vietnam (VOV).
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung also extended his congratulations to coach Pham Minh Giang, his assistants and players through the phone.
Next up for Vietnam will be Russia, who convincingly won Group B with nine points from three straight wins against Egypt (9-0), Uzbekistan (4-2) and Guatemala (4-1).
It will be an interesting clash as the two teams also clashed in the knockout stage at the World Cup in Colombia five years ago, during which the Russians saw off the Golden Stars 7-0.
Nothing much has changed this time as the previous World Cup runners-up and world No. 4 Russia remain the higher-rated side, but Vietnam can definitely stir up a surprise thanks to their excellent fighting spirit.
Another Southeast Asian representative, Thailand also advanced to the Round of 16 after a 9-4 rout of the Solomon Islands on Sunday placed them third in Group C and among the four best third-placed teams. Next up for the Thais will be Group A winners Kazakhstan.