Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Just one more win and Việt Nam will earn its berth at the FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea next year.
Their task now is to beat Bahrain in the quarter-finals of the Asian Football Confederation U19 Championship tomorrow.
The game , based on statistics alone, seems to be a match of teams on the same level.
In the history of the championship, Bahrain’s best result was a silver medal won in 1986. Earlier, in 1977, they ranked third.
Việt Nam has played several championships and this is the country’s first entry into the quarter-finals.
In the world ranking, Bahrain is No 123 while Việt Nam is ranked 136.
Bahrain struggled to top Group A with four points after one win, one draw and one loss. They advanced to the knock-out stage due to better difference in goals and their head-to-head with Saudi Arabia and South Korea, who also pocketed four points.
Việt Nam is second in Group B, with one win and two draws, being one of four teams that has conceded no losses during this event, although they were considered the weakest team in this group.
The hosts’ advantage is their home turf and local fans’ support, as well as their great physiques that helped them run the field for 90 minutes each match.
Bahrain, under coach Abdulaziz Abdo, played short balls and attacked from the center, with two-thirds of their seven goals scored during these attempts.
Vietnamese players must keep their eyes on trio Ali Alnaar, Mohamed Yusuf and Aziz Khalid, who played key roles in Bahrain’s playing style.
While their strikers are giving an impressive performance, their defenders did not seem to be pulling their weight, conceding six goals in three matches.
A win against Bahrain will send Việt Nam to the semi-finals as the tournament’s four strongest teams.
As the tournament acts as a qualification for the U20 World Cup 2017, these four teams will effectively secure their berths as the AFC representatives, besides South Korea, who qualified automatically as hosts.
The match between the two sides will be held at Bahrain National Stadium in Manama City at 11pm, Hà Nội time, on Sunday. — VNS