Vietnam to World Cup: from dream to reality
The national football team of Vietnam has qualified for the third qualifier round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which brings joy to fans. But the reality may not be that close to expectations.
Vietnam wins a card to the third qualification round of the 2022 World Cup.
For 30 years, the country has never stopped dreaming of participating in the World Cup finals and the results have almost never been anything other than disappointment until coach Park Hang Seo and his disciples made history.
With Vietnam getting to the last qualification round of the 2022 World Cup, we are closer to that dream than ever before.
The team will be competing against 11 of the strongest teams across the continent to win one of the four tickets to participate in the 2022 World Cup finals.
It is going to be hard, even near impossible to say that they are going to get close to the finals, as their opponents are giants with excellent techniques, experience and records far exceeding anything that the Vietnamese team has ever achieved.
Nevertheless, coach Park taking the team past the qualifications was already a milestone in and of itself. That’s something worth celebrating and being proud of. And we can only look forward to a bright future for Vietnam’s football.
To achieve its dream, Vietnam first has to be realistic.
However, we have to realize that being hopeful and excited is not enough.
We need to take a look at Thailand, another Southeast Asian team who also got into the 3rd qualification round of the 2018 World Cup. They were one of the best teams in the region, and proved to be a challenge against big names like Japan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia. They even almost beat Australia in a game where coach Kiatisuk’s crew played really well. In the end, they still came in last in their group with only two points.
This is not said to make a comparison but to point out that though Vietnam - under Coach Park’s guidance - has been the strongest team in Southeast Asia for the past few years, Vietnam is still not the best of the best. Just look at the latest game against the UAE where the team struggled to even play properly for most of the game. Only when Vietnam outmatches regional opponents and doesn’t have to care much about tournaments like AFF Cup or SEA Games (as Thailand did) will we get closer to the World Cup dream.
Being realistic is not being pessimistic, but it is to acknowledge who we are and where we stand so that we know what our next step should be. The foundation is made. Now is when we start building towards our goal - to stand among the best of the best.
Vietnam were placed in the No. 6 seed group, together with Lebanon, among six seed groups for the upcoming draw of the 2022 FIFA World Cup’s third Asian qualifiers.