Việt Nam celebrate winning the AFF Cup 2018. Việt Nam have been drawn in Group B for the rescheduled AFF Cup 2020. Photo baochinhphu.vn
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam have discovered who they will face as they begin their defence of the AFF Cup.
They have been drawn in Group B and will play Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos after the draw was made by the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) in Singapore yesterday.
Group A consists of Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Brunei or Timor Leste.
The play-off match for the final place between Timor Leste and Brunei will take place on December 1. The draw saw Timor Leste confirmed as the away team in the one-off game.
Last year, the AFF decided to postpone the AFF Cup 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19 but now it is rescheduled to be held from December 5, 2021 to January 1, 2022.
Currently, the AFF is still actively working with member federations and co-operative units to decide on a neutral venue for the tournament.
Khiev Sameth, AFF’s chairman said at the draw it is a special event for all. This is the time when people overcome the coronavirus pandemic and bring to the audience impressive performances of the players, he said.
The event will offer good matches, but it also must ensure the health of the players and participants in the event.
In the group stage, the first and second-placed teams in each group will advance to two-legged semi-finals.
The two winners of the semi-finals will compete in the first leg’s on December 29, 2021 and the second leg’s on January 1, 2022.
In the 2018 tournament, Thailand were the defending champions, but lost to Malaysia in the semi-finals.
Việt Nam won the tournament after a 3–2 victory over two legs in the final against Malaysia to secure their second title.
Nguyễn Quang Hải was voted player of the tournament, his three goals helped lift the trophy.
In the first leg of the final, Việt Nam drew 2-2 with Malaysia at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur.
In the return leg at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium a six minute strike from Nguyễn Anh Đức was enough to secure the victory. VNS