Việt Nam vs Japan in the AFC U-19 Championship qualifying round on Sunday. — Photo nld.com.vn
HCM City — Việt Nam sealed their spot in the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 Finals after playing to a 0-0 draw with Japan on Sunday.
With this draw, Japan also secured a place in the finals as they topped Group J with seven points. While Việt Nam also had seven points, they ranked second because of goal difference. Việt Nam booked a ticket as they are one of the four best runners-up in the qualifying round.
Besides Việt Nam, Laos, Yemen and Uzbekistan will join Uzbekistan in the 2020 Finals as the best runners-up.
Japan took control of the game and had the first look at goal in the fourth minute but Itsuki Someno angled his header wide of the target.
Japan continued to press and created several dangerous situations but they failed to find the net. While Việt Nam had the best chance in the second half when Nguyễn Duy Triết flashed his header wide off Huỳnh Công Đến’s cross.
After the match, coach Kageyama Masanaga of Japan highly appreciated Việt Nam's playing style.
Masanaga said Việt Nam played very well in this match. They were an undefeated team and this was a lesson for our young players.
Masanaga also admitted that coach Philippe Troussier of Việt Nam applied good tactics in this match.
According to Masanaga, Troussier was a good trainer. He knew Japanese football clearly as he coached the Japanese national football team. He also knew Japan's playing style in advance.
While French Troussier said that: “Việt Nam will meet many difficulties when they face Japan so I encouraged my players very much in terms of psychology. We only need one point to qualify for the event’s finals. I am satisfied with our result.”
Troussier, 64, was born in Paris, France. During his coaching career, he has led the national teams of Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Qatar and Morocco, but was most successful when guiding South Africa to compete in the 1998 World Cup. Four years later, he strongly impressed by leading Japan through to the World Cup knockout stage for the first time in history.
In June 2018, Troussier inked a contract to work as the technical director of the PVF youth football training centre in the northern province of Hưng Yên.
The French strategist hoped that he would lead Việt Nam U19s to harvest such success as achieved by Việt Nam’s U22, U23 and national teams in recent years. — VNS