|Kids are alright: Vietnamese U23 players seen ahead of their training in Qatar. Viet Nam will play Jordan in the Asian tournament's first match today. — Photo bongdagoal.com
HA NOI (VNS) — Coach Toshyia Miura of Viet Nam strongly believes in his team's chances at the Asian U-23 Football Championship in Qatar.
Viet Nam versus Jordan is the second match of Group D which kicks off today at the Doha's Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium.
The Japanese said his target of a berth in the quarter-final round was difficult but there were reasons to be confident.
He said that if Viet Nam, who he considered the weakest among championship participants, could pocket four points from three group matches it would have a 50 per cent chance of going through to the next stage. And, of course, Miura has studied his rivals very carefully.
He said, the opening match was the most important one and would decide Viet Nam's destiny. In case it pockets a win, Viet Nam could spring a surprise here.
"As you know, Viet Nam is the youngest team in the championship. Nearly three-fourths of the squad is under 21. They have not experienced many games and are still unstable. But they have to face rivals who are better in physique and form," Miura was quoted as saying on the official website of the Viet Nam Football Federation.
"However, they have shown great effort for progress recently. More importantly, they have ambition and want to show their ability on their Asian championship debut. For those reasons, I believe that we can make a bang (in Qatar)," Miura said.
In the recent trainings, Miura asked his players to focus on the centre area where Jordan's Rajaei Hasan showed his power through games at last year's Asian Games' quarter-finals in South Korea.
The Vietnamese also tried to create counter-attacks from wings while especially limiting Jordan from the high balls to prevent their towering striker Mohammad Baha' from scoring.
Jordan, which pocketed a bronze medal at the 2013 tournament is said to be the strongest team in Group D. It is set for a berth in the tournament's top three.
Ahead of the opener, Rajaei Ayed, captain of Jordan, said although Viet Nam was a ‘mystery' it could not stop his team from winning three points.
He said two tickets to the quarter-finals would belong to two of three teams: Jordan, Australia and the UAE.
The match will begin at 10.30pm Ha Noi time and will be aired live on VTV6 channel.
The championship kicked off yesterday with matches in groups A and B.
Arsalan Motahhari scored one and set up the other as Iran kicked off their Group A campaign with a 2-0 win over Syria at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
At the same time, skipper Abdelkarim Hassan scored twice in the second half as hosts Qatar made the ideal start after recording a 3-1 comeback win over China at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium. — VNS