Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam have been drawn in Group C for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2019’s third qualification round.
In the draw held yesterday in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Afghanistan and Cambodia were drawn as the other Group C teams.
Twenty other squads have been divided into five other groups.
In Group C, Jordan are the strongest team with a FIFA ranking of 107 as per the latest announcement made last week.
They were the second-placed team in Group B in the second qualification round.
Việt Nam, a third-placed team in the second qualifiers, are the second ranked team in Group C at No 136, while Afghanistan are No 151 and Cambodia at No 172.
Afghanistan are one of best fourth-placed teams from the second qualifiers, while Cambodia are in because they won the Qualifiers Play-off I for the tournament.
In the competition schedule which was also released last night, Việt Nam will first play Afghanistan away on March 28.
Two best teams from this group will join 12 others, including defending champions Australia, China, Iraq, Iran, Japan and South Korea, in the final round to be held from January 5 to February 1, 2019.
Việt Nam sent two representatives, national head coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng and former captain Nguyễn Minh Phương, to the drawing ceremony.
Phương was one of two draw ambassadors assisting Shin Man Gil, Executive Director AFC Competitions Division, on the stage.
Phương led Việt Nam to the quarter-finals of the Cup in 2007 which the country co-hosted along with Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. He also represented the country in Cup 2004 and 2011 qualifiers before hanging up his boots in 2010 after 73 national caps.
Phương said: “We face big opponents but our team will do their best to win and qualify for the finals. I am confident that you will see them here in 2019.” — VNS