|Vietnamese players training for the 2023 Doha Cup in Qatar. Việt Nam will play Iraq on March 22. Photos courtesy of the VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's U23 team, along with their coach Phillipe Troussier, are gearing up for the Doha Cup, a friendly tournament serving as a warm-up ahead of the 32nd SEA Games.
With high expectations from national supporters and coach Troussier alike, Việt Nam are hoping for some impressive wins.
"Players will gain invaluable experience through matches, making the Doha event incredibly important," said Troussier, who has been in charge of the team for almost a month. "It will serve as a strong foundation for the team at the SEA Games."
This will be Troussier's debut tournament with Việt Nam, and he is hoping his players won't be too hard on themselves if they make mistakes. His aim is for them to learn from their errors and never repeat them.
Ten teams are set to participate in the U23 Doha Cup, with each team facing off against two others in the first round. The organisers will determine the match-ups for the second round based on the results.
Việt Nam are scheduled to play Iraq and the UAE on March 22nd and 26th, respectively, in the late evening, as the games fall within the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.
With such a high-stakes tournament and a challenging schedule, Vietnam's U23 team and their fans eagerly await the excitement ahead.
|French Phillipe Troussier will have his first tournament as head coach of the U23 Việt Nam at the Doha Cup from March 22-29. — Photo courtesy of the VFF|
To prepare for the late evening matches in the Doha Cup, coach Troussier had his players train during the same hours as the competition, from 10pm to midnight.
"When we are on the field, it is 2am in Việt Nam time," said goalkeeper Quan Văn Chuẩn. "It is difficult to avoid jetlag. However, our team staff and assistants are doing a good job, helping us to adjust to the new time zone.
"We are doing well with the training time and catching the pace of the coaches' plans. My team and I are ready for the tournament. We will do the best for the highest results,"
Iraqi coach Radi Shenaishel said his biggest problems were that players do not have enough training together and the Ramadan holiday.
During the holy time, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during the daytime, usually from dawn until dusk.
Of his 25-player squad, Shenaishel has called several who are playing in Europe, such as Evert Baram (Nuremberg, Germany), Mustafa Omran (U19 Atalanta, Italy), Hani Noseir (Trelleborg, Sweden) and Manuel Iylia (U21 Twente, Netherlands).
These players could only join the rest of the team on March 20 and had only two days of training together.
After Việt Nam, Iraq will play South Korea on March 26.
However, Shenaishel is not put much weight on the cup. He said it was an opportunity for him to test players' quality.
Even though a poor result would make his team receive criticism, Doha Cup is just a warm-up for larger events such as the West Asian U23 Championship and the 2024 Paris Olympic qualification.
The tournament will be live broadcast on FPT Play's multi-platforms. VNS