The list of contenders announced on Thursday afternoon also includes South Korea’s Son Heung Min, Iran’s Sardar Azmoun, Lebanon’s Mohammad Kdouh, Oman’s Salaah Al Yahyeai, Australia’s Ajdin Hrustic, Japan’s Ao Tanaka, Saudi Arabia’s Firas Al Buraikan, Syria’s Omar Khribin, and China’s Wu Lei.

The AFC wrote in its comment that Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Linh joined the likes of Son Heung Min, Firas Al Buraikan and Omar Khribin in scoring on both Matchdays over the past week to provide a contribution to his team despite his side’s defeats to China and Oman on October 8 and 12.

“Still only 23 years of age, the Becamex Binh Duong striker showed expert positioning and poise beyond his years to find the back of the net in Doha and Muscat, taking his individual tally to an excellent seven goals on the Road to Qatar 2022,” the comment reads, referring to the FIFA World Cup finals next year.

As of mid-Friday, Linh was dominating a poll posted to the AFC’s official website with nearly 65 percent of total votes, followed by Firas Al Buraikan and Sardar Azmoun with 11 percent both.

The poll will end at 4:00 pm on Saturday (Vietnam time).

The 12 Matchday games in the last seven days in the final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, which is contested by two groups of six teams, saw 38 goals scored, according to the AFC.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for next year’s tournament while the third-place teams will play for a spot via an inter-continental play-off.

Vietnam lost all their first four games, most recently 1-3 against Oman, and are at the bottom of Group B with zero points.

This is the first time Vietnam have made it this far in the World Cup qualifiers.

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