Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam U23 team are expected to write a new page in the history of Vietnamese football when they face U23 Syria in the last Group D qualifying round match at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship finals in China today.
In the two previous matches, Việt Nam lost to South Korea 1-2 and beat Australia 1-0. The victory against Australia marked a milestone for the U23 Việt Nam team as the first time they have secured a win in the AFC finals. The success opened the door for Việt Nam to enter the quarter-finals for the first time.
A victory over Syria would seal a spot in the next phase for Việt Nam, while a draw may be enough depending on the outcome of the game between Australia and the South Koreans.
South Korea are now the top of the group with four points. While Việt Nam and Australia rank second and third with three points, Syria are at the bottom with only one point.
“The upcoming match against Syria will be a great chance for Việt Nam to write a new page for Việt Nam football,” said midfielder and captain Lương Xuân Trường.
“We have had a good performance in the match with Australia. That win will be a motivating force for us to beat Syria. We will try our best to make Vietnamese football history more beautiful,” Trường added.
On the Syrian side, coach Hussein Afash of Syria was full of praise for the Vietnamese team. He said the Việt Nam team had good discipline. With the line-up of 5-4-1, the Vietnamese team moved very fast when they held attacks.
Afash said he had searched for Việt Nam’s strong and weak points by observing matches in the event. The Syrians also need a win to enter the next round.
“Syria will play with all our strength to earn a slot in the quarter-finals. I believe that my team’s chances are still clear and we will play with this belief,” said Afash.
Meanwhile, the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF)’s leaders confirmed that they aren’t putting pressure on the Vietnamese team at the AFC event.
“We are very glad that in the past two matches, Việt Nam had good advances in terms of experience, skill and spirit. We maintain our point of view that we aren’t setting any targets for the team,” said deputy chairman of the VFF, Trần Quốc Tuấn.
According to Tuấn, Việt Nam’s level of play isn’t as good as that of South Korea and Australia, so Việt Nam’s results with the two above teams are praiseworthy, but now the team must stabilize their level of ability for the long term.
“Syria aren’t a weak rival. They lost to Australia 1-3 and tied goalless with South Korea. Syrian players are very skillful so it is rather difficult for Việt Nam to face them. It is very reasonable when coach Park Hang-seo asked his players to forget the win with Australia to focus on Syria,” said Tuấn. — VNS