|Luck of the draw: Viet Nam were placed in Group A of the AFC Futsal Championship at a ceremony held in HCM City on Saturday. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
HCM CITY (VNS) — Hosts Viet Nam have a good draw at the Asian Football Confederation Futsal (indoor football) Championships to be held on April 30-May10.
The draw made in HCM City yesterday placed the country in Group A along with Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Iraq.
"The draw is fair and balanced; I think Viet Nam have a good draw," Alex Soosay, general secretary of the AFC, said when asked to comment on the draw at a press conference later.
Tran Anh Tu, chairman of the HCM City Football Federation and member of the AFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee, seemed to agree.
He was optimistic about Viet Nam's chances of going beyond the group stage.
"We know well about Kuwait and we once beat them in 2012. But Tajikistan and Iraq are foreign to us. If we can play at our best, we can completely finish in the top eight."
But Viet Nam's captain, Nguyen Bao Quan, was more wary: "We have played teams from the Middle East many times and they are very good technically and tactically. They enjoy the advantage of height and strength as well."
The experienced Quan will be one of the keys to Viet Nam's success.
Group B features 10-time champs Iran, Australia, China, and Indonesia, while Group C comprises Thailand, Lebanon, Chinese Taipei, and Malaysia.
Soosay said: "Group B promises to produce interesting matches as we have three strong teams. While Iran are multiple-time champions, Australia, and China are stronger than ever."
Group D has defending champions Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and South Korea.
"Defending champions Japan are expected to face strong competition from the rest of the group," Soosay said.
"Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have made great efforts to develop futsal. South Korea also showed considerable progress and have something to prove this time around."
Viet Nam will host the event for the second time after once earlier in 2205. — VNS