(Reuters) - Factbox on Vietnam ahead of the Asian Cup, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates from Jan 5 to Feb 1:
FIFA world ranking: 100
Ranking in Asia: 17
Previous Asian Cups: 1
Best performance: Quarter-finals (2007)
2015: Did not qualify
Nickname: Golden Dragons
Coach: Park Hang-seo
Regular captain: Que Ngoc Hai
Player to watch: Nguyen Quang Hai
Dec 2 Philippines 1-2 Vietnam Bacolod
Dec 6 Vietnam 2-1 Philippines Hanoi
Dec 11 Malaysia 2-2 Vietnam Kuala Lumpur
Dec 15 Vietnam 1-0 Malaysia Hanoi
Dec 25 Vietnam 1-1 North Korea Hanoi
Jan 8 Iraq v Vietnam Abu Dhabi
Jan 12 Vietnam v Iran Abu Dhabi
Jan 16 Vietnam v Yemen Al Ain
South Korean Park has transformed expectations in Vietnam by taking the under-23 side to the final of the Asian Cup in January and the semi-finals of the Asian Games tournament in August.
The senior team capped that, and triggered more wild celebrations around the country, when they beat Malaysia over two legs to win the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship in December.
Having been drawn in a tough group, they will do well to match their single appearance in the quarter-finals as co-hosts in 2007 but some in Vietnam are starting to believe Park and his players can do anything.
Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien