Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam are expecting a berth in the knockout stage of the Asian Football Confederation U20 Futsal Championship, which will be held in Thailand next week.
The team arrived in Bangkok nearly a week ahead of the event and will train hard in preparation for the matches.
Speaking with reporters prior to their departure for Bangkok on May 7, coach Hector Souto Vazquez said he was pleased with his players’ performance during their three weeks of practice in HCM City.
The Spanish said things were on the right track and the players had showed their determination and strong mind. However they still did not have enough competition experience, which was their main weakness. It was why he wanted to come to Thailand early so that the players had enough time to get familiar with the gymnasium and the weather.
The team also plan to play two friendly matches -- Uzbekistan on Wednesday and China on Saturday -- ahead of the tournament.
Vazquez said through these matches, his players would sharpen their skills and gain insights because both teams were strong rivals. This would help him not only choose the right team, but also make his players more confident for the official games.
The tournament is being organised on May 16-26 at the Bangkok Arena and the Huamark Indoor Stadium.
Việt Nam are in Group B with Japan, Chinese Taipei, Tajikistan and Indonesia.
There are 16 other teams competing in three different groups.
The group winners and runners-up from each group will qualify for the knockout stage -- the quarterfinals.
Coach Vazquez said information about the youth teams was not updated regularly, therefore he had very little idea about Việt Nam’s rivals.
However, he said Japan and Indonesia were expected to be very strong teams. Japan’s senior team were an Asian powerhouse, while Indonesia had a quality youth training system, with tournaments for the U16s and U18s.
The coach also said Tajikistan had played a friendly match with Uzbekistan and won 7-4. Following that result, he had decided to keep an eye on the team.
According to the head of the delegation, Trần Anh Tú, Việt Nam are targeting a berth in the quarterfinals.
Việt Nam will face Tajikistan in their first match on May 17. Their next rivals will be Indonesia (May 18), Chinese Taipei (May 19) and Japan (May 20). — VNS