U19s set sights on 2021 World Cup

May 07, 2020 - 08:02

The Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) and Troussier recently discussed a plan for the Asian U19 Football Championship, which is a qualifier for the FIFA World Cup.

Phạm Xuân Tạo from Đà Nẵng is one of U19 players in Philippe Troussier's list. Việt Nam hope to have a successful Asian championship and advance to the U20 World Cup next year. Photo thethao247.vn


HÀ NỘI — Head coach Philippe Troussier has set a target of qualifying for the U20 World Cup in 2021 for the national U19 team.

The Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) and Troussier recently discussed a plan for the Asian U19 Football Championship, which is a qualifier for the FIFA World Cup.

Việt Nam will take part in the Uzbekistan tournament from October 14-30 of 16 teams.

The participants will be divided into four groups and the top two teams of each group will advance to the quarter-finals.

The French expert wants his players to earn a berth in the last-four round which would qualify the country for its second U20 World Cup.

The players will be summoned in August, two months later than first scheduled, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the postponement of the national U19 championship as well as the second division league in which many U19 players play.

Troussier said he will keep a close eye on the national championship which is set for June to select the best players who then will sharpen their skills at the ASEAN Football Federation Championship in Indonesia in September.

VFF Vice President Trần Quốc Tuấn said the VFF and Troussier will evaluate Việt Nam and their rivals at the Asian championship.

“Việt Nam are in pot three of the seeds. If we are lucky in the draw, we could secure one of two top berths after the group stage. Furthermore, the gap between Vietnamese and rivals at a young age is not large. Troussier’s boys could totally pass the group round,” said Tuấn.

“Once we are in the quarter-finals, everything can happen and a win will bring us to the World Cup.”

The VFF agreed with Troussier that all the best conditions will be given to his team for the World Cup task.

Among these activities, an annual international U19 tournament will be held in Việt Nam and organisers will invite some Asian championship participants to compete from September 28-October 4. 

Currently Troussier has a draft list of 40 players including Trần Mạnh Quỳnh of Sông Lam Nghệ An, Bùi Tiến Sinh of Viettel, Quan Văn Chuẩn of Hà Nội, Phan Du Học of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, Phạm Xuân Tạo from Đà Nẵng and Huỳnh Công Đến of Phố Hiến.

Speaking to media, the 65-year-old Frenchman said Vietnamese football can develop stronger and become more professional. He added that things couldn't stand still after the recent success of the national and underage teams and all teams must work harder to prepare for the future.

He also pointed out a problem for young players was a lack of opportunities to compete and develop.

Troussier mentioned Japan as an example to learn from.

The Japanese team under his reign earned the Asian title and a berth in the Sydney Olympics’ quarter-finals in 2000. He said at that time Japanese football rose up strongly because they focused on maintaining a sustainable competition environment for the young generations. They had about 50 matches per year, which made them stronger, more experienced and cope well under pressure.

The 2021 World Cup will be held in May in Indonesia with the participation of 24 teams. In Asia, the four best teams of the continental championship and hosts Indonesia will play.

In 2016, Việt Nam team under coach Hoàng Anh Tuấn advanced to the Asian championship semi-finals in Bahrain. They earned a 2017 U20 World Cup slot in South Korea, making a turning point for the nation and a first-ever World Cup berth. VNS