Futsal World Cup 2021: Vietnam Advances to Next Round of 16 Playing with Russia

Vietnam have earned a berth at the Round of 16 of the ongoing 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuaniatake on Group B winners Russia in the knockout stage on September 22 as Pham Minh Giang’s troops look to make the quarterfinals for the first time ever.
September 21, 2021 | 10:24
Vietnamese and Czech players in action during their Group D match on September 19. (Photo: VFF)
Vietnamese and Czech players in action during their Group D match on September 19. (Photo: VFF)

The Southeast Asian side put in an emotional display against the Czech Republic in their last Group D fixture on Sunday night (Sept. 19).

Vietnam drew 1-1 with the Czech Republic in their final Group D match at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 at the Kaunas Arena on Sunday night to advance to the Round of 16 as one of the best third-placed finishers.

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.

Futsal World Cup 2021: Vietnam Advances to Next Round of 16 Playing with Russia
Players of Vietnam and Czech Republic vie for the ball (Photo: FIFA)

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).

Vietnam - with four points - finished third in Group D but advanced to the next round as one of the best third-placed finishers. They will play Russian players in the Round of 16.

After the match, Czech media highly valued Vietnam’s steadfastness.

Futsal World Cup 2021: Vietnam Advances to Next Round of 16 Playing with Russia
Chau Doan Phat celebrates scoring Vietnam’s opening goal during their match against the Czech Republic. (Photo: VNA)

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.

Vietnam coach proud of players after Futsal World Cup advance, Vietnam team rises 5 levels on the FIFA ranking

Futsal World Cup 2021: Vietnam Advances to Next Round of 16 Playing with Russia
Coach Pham Minh Giang answers the press after the FIFA Futsal World Cup game between Vietnam and the Czech Republic on September 19, 2021. Photo by Vietnam Football Federation

Pham Minh Giang said fighting spirit helped Vietnam get a draw against the Czech Republic to make it past FIFA World Cup 2021 group stage.

"I'm really proud of the players. They were fighting non-stop to achieve this result," the national futsal coach said after the 1-1 draw against the Czech Republic on Sunday night.

"Vietnam are perhaps the weakest team in this tournament. Therefore, we have to give the players a boost. For example, we let them watch some of the games against the big teams in the past, especially the Japan victory in 2016 to make them understand that the weak teams can beat stronger ones. Their mentality was improved thanks to that and they have given their best on the field to advance.", reported the vnexpress.

Vietnam had to get at least a draw when they faced a much stronger Czech Republic in the last game of group D to advance, as a defeat would most likely have eliminated them. In such challenging circumstances, Vietnam put on a defensive display, of which keeper Ho Van Y was the highlight with many excellent saves.

After keeping a clean sheet in the first half, Vietnam scored with only five minutes left, thanks to an effort by Chau Doan Phat. However, the Czech Republic equalized one minute later with a goal from captain Lukas Resetar. The 1-1 score remained until the end, which proved enough to send Vietnam to the next round with four points in three games.

"This was a tough match because we have to face the world’s number 15. But the players were determined to get a draw. Their spirit was amazing and I’m happy about that," Giang added.

The 40-year-old coach also complimented keeper Y’s performance.

"Van Y is the best goalkeeper of Vietnamese futsal in recent years. He couldn’t do anything in the first game because Brazil were too strong, but in the next two games (against Panama) he was excellent, becoming a solid stopper for the team," he said.

Futsal World Cup 2021: Vietnam Advances to Next Round of 16 Playing with Russia
Photo: thanhnien

Before going to the Futsal World Cup 2021 in Lithuania, the Vietnamese Futsal team was the lowest ranked team in Group D with 44th position in the world. Meanwhile, the Brazilian team is ranked 2nd, the Czech Republic is in 15th and Panama is 37th.

After the 1-9 loss to Brazil in the first round, the number of points deducted from the Vietnamese futsal team is negligible and still retains the 44th in the world. However, the 3-2 victory over Panama helped players and coach Pham Minh Giang rise 3 places on the ranking. In the last match against the Czech Republic, with the spirit of "never giving up", goalkeeper Ho Van Y and his teammates got a 1-1 draw and thereby increased 2 places to rank 39th in the world.

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