Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam women’s team should emulate its male colleagues’ spirit to compete well at the Asian Football Confederation U19 Women’s Championship qualifier which starts today in Hà Nội, according to coach Mai Đức Chung.
Việt Nam are in Group D with Iran and India and only the top team can advance to the final round in China in 2017.
“My players will follow the U19 (male team) example to fight hard at this qualification round, although they receive less support than the men,” Vietnamese head coach Chung said at a press briefing yesterday.
Chung said it was difficult for him to select players given that there are only seven women’s teams competing in the national championships and he is only allowed to choose players from four of them.
The shortage of qualified and experienced players makes for a disadvantage compared to the rivals, Chung said.
“Iran is known on the continent as one of the leading football powers in Asia. India are also a strong team. Both have good physique and form,” said Chung in a interview with Việt Nam News.
His players and Vietnamese athletes in general, he added, are in poor shape and have only been practicing for one month.
“We do not set a target for them, but like every competitor we also want three points from each match. For that reason, we always ask them to look at the male U19s who showed their great spirit in both training and competing with strict discipline and outstanding effort,” said Chung.
On the other side, coach Mahnaz Amirshaghaghi of Iran said that despite the difference between the climate of the two countries, her players did not face any difficulty because they had played here previously.
Iranians have been preparing six months for their games. Amirshaghaghi said her players had useful training courses and were ready to compete.
Responding to reporters at the briefing, coach Ronibala Chanu Lourembam of India said it was colder in Việt Nam than in her country but it would not be a problem for her team.
Indian players also had only one month to train for the event, but he expressed his hope their hard work would yield positive results.
In the opener today at the Việt Nam Football Federation’s Youth Training Centre field, Việt Nam will play India.
The second match will see India versus Iran on Friday and in the last game, two days later, Iran will face the hosts.
At present, Group B’s activities wrapped up with Uzbekistan on top of the rankings with a perfect nine points after three wins. They grabbed the first ticket to the final, joining the top four teams of the 2015 edition – champions Japan, North Korea, South Korea and China – who received direct qualification to the tournament in August.
Group A actions will take place in China at the same time as Group D’s, while Group C’s matches will be held on December 20-24 in Myanmar.
Only three leading teams of the Asian championship will qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2018 in France. — VNS