Sai Gon FC,four players,Vietnamese national team
Midfielder Huynh Tan Tai (centre) is among four players Sai Gon FC coach Vu Tien Thanh believes are ready for the national team. — Photo

Vu Tien Thanh says he thinks the time has come for Nguyen Quoc Long, Huynh Tan Tai, Cao Van Trien and Pham Van Phong to represent their country.

"If I am allowed to recommend, players, the likes of Long, Tai, Trien and goalkeeper Phong deserve to be in the Vietnamese national team," Thanh said after the 3-0 victory over Thanh Hoa in the V.League 1 on Sunday.

"They are good professionals who play hard and keep up their form. However, the decision belongs to head coach Park Hang-seo, and each coach has a choice of players in accordance with their philosophy."

South Korean coach Park was in the stands at the Thong Nhat Stadium to see the match. Unlike the previous games that he usually sat in the VIP area, this time he chose to sit at the top of the stand A alongside his assistants to watch the match.

Among the players that Thanh nominated, only Long has played with the national team with coach Phan Thanh Hung in 2012.

Tai represented the U23 team under Japanese coach Toshiya Miura. Goalkeeper Phong and midfielder Trien have never been called up to the national side.


So far this season, all four players have played well, especially Long who is the captain of the team.

Trien shined in the role of central midfielder and Tai has found the net on numerous occasions from his right wing position.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Phong has also had an outstanding season, conceding just three times in nine matches so far.

Unbeaten after nine games, Sai Gon FC are top of the league, surprising many pundits.

“Our initial goal was to be in the top five, but after applying the new competition format due to the effect of COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to be in the top eight," said veteran strategist Thanh.

"We will continue to set the target of reaching the top five. But in football, anything can happen because of the points gap between the teams is very tight and everything can change with just one bad result.”

In their next outing, Sai Gon will meet Nam Dinh at Thong Nhat on July 17.  VNS

Sai Gon to set up Japanese-style football academy

Sai Gon to set up Japanese-style football academy

V.League 1 side Sai Gon FC have signed a deal to work with Tokyo FC of J.League to set up a football academy in Vietnam.