|Fast feet: Becamex Binh Duong striker Le Cong VInh (left) avoids Viet Nam U23 defenders during their friendly match that ended 1-1 on Saturday. — Photo bongda365.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Toshyia Miura is confident about Viet Nam's chances at the upcoming Asian U23 Football Championship.
The Japanese coach also said he was not satisfied with how his players performed during their 1-1 friendly draw against V. League champions Becamex Binh Duong on Saturday. However, he said he believed his team would be one of the final eight teams in Qatar in January.
He noted that a mistake by the midfielders near the end of the match prevented their victory, as opportunities were wasted. In the time remaining, he has to work with the team to overcome such disadvantages and to focus, and be on the alert, at all time, adding that such mistakes must not happen again.
Miura said what made him feel satisfied was the return of injured players who were in tune with the rest of the team.
He hoped all players would be in perfect shape before their departure, so that he would have the best choices available to play during the games.
Pham Duc Huy's tap-in at the 79th minute opened the scoring in the match. But national top striker Le Cong Vinh levelled the results just seconds from a penalty before the match ended at Go Dau Stadium, Binh Duong Province.
It was the second draw in four friendly matches in the U23s. They lost two previous games.
Miura said he did not much care, saying the results of friendly matches were not important, but the lessons that players learned after these games were of value.
The team will have another match against HCM City FC, a team playing in the First Division, on Wednesday before they leave.
The Asian championship will begin on January 12. Viet Nam is in the same group with Australia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
Among them, Australia might be the strongest team and is believed to be the top contender in the group.
Coach Aurelio Vidmar named his 23-man squad one month ago, noting that he had an exciting team.
"We have put together an exciting squad that includes some players with Socceroos experience, and also illustrates the strength of the Hyundai A-League and its position as a true pathway for national team footballers," Vidmar said on football-australia.com.au.
"The squad includes 12 players from our National Competition and the A-League clubs, and coaches should be congratulated for the part they played in developing these players.
"We have taken the group through an important journey with qualifying, camps and friendly matches, but this is a step up in class that they have to take in their development as international football players.
"We head to Qatar for a tough tournament, but we have a good group of players that we're confident can qualify for the Olympic Games, which is a great opportunity for the players."
In the qualifying round, the Olyroos trounced Hong Kong 6-0, Chinese Taipei 4-0 and Myanmar 5-1.
Later on, Vidmar's squad played several international friendlies in which they won one, lost two and drew one.
The Olyroos will head to Dubai for a seven-day camp before their match against the United Arab Emirates on January 14 after the Group D opener between Viet Nam and Jordan at the Grand Hamad Stadium.
They will then play Viet Nam three days later, as well as Jordan on January 20.
The top two teams will progress to the quarter-finals, while the top three teams will qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Football Tournament. — VNS