Việt Nam make up suitable plans for ASIAD without best players

September 15, 2023 - 08:27
National top forward Huỳnh Như's place in the team is not guaranteed as she has just extended her contract with the Portuguese side Lank FC.
Forward Phạm Hải Yến (right) vies for the ball against a player of Hải Phòng's clubs of retired players during their training camp in Hải Phòng last week. Yến will captain the Việt Nam team at the Asian Games later this month in China. — Photo courtesy  of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will compete at the 19th Asian Games (ASIAD) without some experienced players but the team have plans in place to achieve the best possible result.

Coach Mai Đức Chung made a draft list of players who will travel to the China Games later this month.

National top forward Huỳnh Như's place in the team is not guaranteed as she has just extended her contract with the Portuguese side Lank FC. The ASIAD is not included in the FIFA Days so Lank are not obliged to release her.

Việt Nam Football Federation officials will hold discussions with Lank to try to persuade them to allow her to play in the tournament.

Captain Phạm Hải Yến said: "Như might not play with us at the ASIAD. Coach Chung and his assistants have made changes in our line-up and training plans so that we can fill the hole left by Như. My young teammates have well integrated with us and can meet requirements."

"All players understand we need to train harder to get our technique and fitness better when playing without Như. Her position will mean other players must take charge. Based on the new line-up, coach Chung will have to build suitable tactics and we will reach our peak for the upcoming tournament."

Also on the list, defenders Chương Thị Kiều and Nguyễn Mỹ Anh, who made remarkable performances at the Australia and New Zealand World Cup, are absent. Both have not totally recovered from their ịnuries.

Meanwhile, veteran midfielder Nguyễn Thị Thùy Trang decided to retire after the World Cup after not playing a single minute.

The national team will train in Hà Nội until September 19 and leave for China. They will have three days to become familiar with the weather and the football field.

Vietnamese players training in Hà Nội. They will leave for the Hangzhou Games on September 19. — Photo courtesy of VFF

"We are in the process of rejuvenation," said coach Chung.

"In this ASIAD campaign, we have many young faces. They are catching up with the team's pace and understand our tactics

"During the Hải Phòng training, we had five games with local clubs. My players sharpened their skills and collected experience from these matches."

Việt Nam is in Group D with Japan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Their matches will be held at the Wenzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium, one of the three competition venues in Wenzhou for the ASIAD.

Japan is the toughest challenge to Việt Nam in the group phase but Yến said Vietnamese players watched their video and researched information about their rivals, especially the defending champions.

"We beat Nepal in the past but I do not know about Bangladesh but my coaches collected their statistics," " Yến said.

"Japan are strong and they are our regular rival. I believe that we will have different tactics for different teams in this tournament."

Việt Nam will first play Nepal on September 22. Their later matches are against Bangladesh on September 25 and Japan two days later.

The five best teams of each group and three second-placed teams will advance to the quarter-finals.

Japan, world number eight, are the tournament favourites. They are predicted to secure the next round's berth as the Group D leader. Việt Nam are eyeing one of the three slots for the best second-placed team.

Việt Nam's best result at the ASIAD was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Games in South Korea. — VNS