Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s U22 team have a great chance to enter the final round of the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship, coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng said yesterday.
At a press conference in HCM City yesterday, he said: “We have the chance to enter the final round of the AFC tournament so we will take the opportunity. Vietnamese fans have high expectations of the Việt Nam team this time, so the pressure on us is high.”
Việt Nam are in Group I along with South Korea, Timor Leste and Macau.
Việt Nam will play Timor Leste in the first qualification match today at the Thống Nhất Stadium in HCM City today.
The team will next face Macau on July 21 and South Korea on July 23.
The top two teams in the group will qualify for the AFC event’s final round held in China, next year.
“I don’t care whether Timor Leste is playing hard or not. The most important thing is that Việt Nam must play with the best spirit and fitness. The training board will analyse the strong and weak points of our rival to come up with suitable tactics.
“I wish Việt Nam will get good results in the qualifying round to create a good frame of mind for the 29th Southeast Asian Games to be held in Malaysia next month,” Thắng said.
Thắng also officially announced his list of 23 players for the qualification yesterday, ruling out four players from the previous list.
Thắng has chosen three goal keepers; eight defenders including Vũ Văn Thanh of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), Đoàn Văn Hậu of Hà Nội and Đỗ Thanh Thịnh of SHB Đà Nẵng); eight midfielders including four HAGL and two Hà Nội players; and four strikers - Nguyễn Công Phượng of HAGL, Hà Đức Chinh of SHB Đà Nẵng, Hồ Tuấn Tài of Sông Lam Nghệ An and Lê Thanh Bình of FLC Thanh Hóa.
Meanwhile, coach Kim Shinhwan of Timor Leste said Việt Nam was a strong side and the coming match will be a great challenge for his team.
He said Timor Leste has prepared carefully for the AFC event with an intensive training session in South Korea. The team played our friendly matches with South Korean student teams, winning one, drawing two and losing one.
The Timor Leste team arrived in Việt Nam on Monday and practiced at the Thống Nhất Stadium.
All Group I matches will be broadcast live on VTV6 and VTV6HD. — VNS