|The U20 Việt Nam team train ahead of the qualifiers of the AFC U20 Asian Cup 2023. — Photo thanhnien.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's U20 team are heading to Indonesia for the qualifiers of the AFC U20 Asian Cup.
If they finish top of Group F they will automatically progress to the finals of the tournament which will be held next year in Uzbekistan.
Coach Đinh Thế Nam has called up 23 players with seven from the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talent Academy (PVF).
Coach Nam also called up many new youngsters, although many are experienced playing in both V.League 1 and V.League 2.
Among the new faces are Hồ Văn Cường, Đinh Xuân Tiến (Sông Lam Nghệ An), Bùi Vĩ Hào (Bình Dương), Nguyễn Hải Nam, Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn, Nguyễn Xuân Bắc, Trần Ngọc Sơn, Nguyễn Hiểu Minh, Nguyễn Đức Phú (PVF) and Lê Quang Hiển (Nutifood JMG). Most of them have represented the country at youth levels.
“Following the 2022 AFF U19 Youth Championship in July, I am very confident in the quality of my team," Nam said.
"Especially after adding many good players, the whole team are very confident to achieve the highest result in Group F."
To prepare for the AFC event, the Vietnamese squad had two friendly matches with U20 Palestine at the Việt Trì Stadium in Phú Thọ Province, with the result of 0-0 draw in the first match and 2-0 win in the second match.
“The recent matches against Palestine were still not the best performance of the Vietnamese team, because the players still maintained a heavy training regime, so their good form had not come," Nam added.
"In the coming days, the team will gradually reduce the amount of practice so that when the qualifiers begin, the team are in the best state."
Cao Văn Chóng, vice president of the Việt Nam Football Federation, met and wished the Vietnamese team good health, luck and success in the tournament as well as reminded the whole team during the competition to comply with the tournament rules on the prevention of COVID-19 pandemic of the host country.
Việt Nam are in Group F with Timor Leste, Chinese Hong Kong and the hosts Indonesia. Việt Nam will play against their rivals from Hong Kong in their first match on September 14. They will face Timor Leste on September 16 and host Indonesia two days later.
Gathering 44 teams, the qualifying round is divided into 10 groups whose matches will be hosted by 10 countries.
According to this year's competition format, 10 winners and the five best runners-up from the group stage will advance to the final round hosted by Uzbekistan from March 1 – 18, 2023. VNS