Việt Nam face Palestine in Group C opener of women's U17 Asian Cup

April 22, 2023 - 14:57
Việt Nam will play Palestine in the opening match of the AFC U17 Women's Asian Cup qualification's Group C on April 22 in Hà Nội.


Coach Akira Ijiri of Việt Nam talks with his players during a practise for the AFC U17 Women's Asian Cup qualification. Việt Nam will play Palestine in the first match of Group C on April 22 in Hà Nội. Photo of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will play Palestine in the opening match of the AFC U17 Women's Asian Cup qualification's Group C on April 22 in Hà Nội.

Another other team in the group, Uzbekistan, will play Việt Nam on April 26.

Coach Akira Ijiri of Việt Nam said it was his team's first international tournament. He wanted players to collect as much experience as possible for their later career.

The Japanese coach said it was hard to find information on other teams in the group so he presumed they were strong. He would ask his players to try their best against both rivals.

Captain Nguyễn Thị Thương was happy for her first international event and said Việt Nam would show all its ability to secure a berth in the second qualifier.

Palestine coach Remah B. M. Mahmoud said she had only two months working with her team. Some good players were called for the U20 team. So Palestine met with difficulties in the preparation for the tournament. For different reasons, they spent almost 44 hours travelling to arrive in Việt Nam hours prior to the press conference.

She said Palestine, who played two friendly matches against Bahrain and Jordan, had only one practise before playing the hosts. She believed that the qualification was a good opportunity for her girls to improve their quality and hopefully they could qualify for the final stage.

On his side, coach Vladimir Panov said Uzbekistan had a training course and friendly matches with local clubs in preparation for the Asian Cup.

He said the hot and sunny weather in Việt Nam was a challenge for his team. Players had to practice when the sun was high to adapt with the challenge and hope for positive results. 

In the first qualification, 29 teams are divided into eight groups, competing in a round robin format. Eight will advance to the second round in two groups from September 16 to 24. 

Four teams from Round 2 will advance to the finals, which is scheduled to be held in Indonesia from April 7 to 20, 2024. They will be joined by the top three teams from the AFC U16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 as well as hosts Indonesia. 

Defending champions and four-time winners Japan, runners-up and three-time champions North Korea, and third-placed China are the teams from 2019 to qualify directly for the finals. VNS