Vietnam among shortest teams in U23 Asian Cup

By Hieu Luong   April 12, 2024 | 05:36 pm PT
Vietnam are the third-shortest team in the 2024 U23 Asian Cup and also among the youngest.

The average height of 368 players from 16 participating teams is 1.789 m, according to the player list announced by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday.

Eight teams are shorter than the average height, with Vietnam at 1.763 m. The other two teams are Malaysia (1.7609 m) and Kuwait (1.7626 m). Both of them are in Group D with Vietnam.

Goalkeeper Tran Trung Kien (R) is the tallest player of Vietnam in the 2024 U23 Asian Cup with a height of 1.91 m. Photo by VnExpress/Thu Khuc

Goalkeeper Tran Trung Kien (R) is Vietnam's tallest player at the 2024 U23 Asian Cup with a height of 1.91 m. Photo by VnExpress/Thu Khuc

The highest team are China with an average height of 1.8396 m. Three other teams with an average height of over 1.8 m are Japan (1.805 m), Australia (1.814 m) and South Korea (1.817 m).

China's goalkeeper Yu Jinyong is the tallest player in the tournament and is also the only one at 2 m tall. The shortest player in the tournament is defender Phon-ek Maneekorn of Thailand at 1.6 m, followed by defender Ho Van Cuong of Vietnam (1.63 m).

Vietnam has two other players under 1.7 m, forward Khuat Van Khang (1.68 m) and Nguyen Minh Quang (1.69 m). Goalkeeper Tran Trung Kien is the tallest on the team, at 1.91 m. There are five players on the team who are over 1.8 m tall.

The remaining two Southeast Asian teams, Thailand and Indonesia, have the fifth (1.770 m) and seventh (1.773 m) shortest height. Thailand have nine players over 1.8 m tall, while Indonesia has 11, thanks to their naturalized players.

The average height of this year's tournament still showed the physical difference as usual, when Southeast Asian teams are among the shortest, while East Asian teams are the tallest. However, this difference is reversed in the average age of teams.

Indonesia are the youngest team in the tournament with an average age of 21.35. Vietnam ranked fourth (21.7), Thailand (21.83) and Malaysia (21.87) ranked seventh and eighth.

This is lower or close to the average age of the tournament this year, which is 21.85.

The oldest team are Saudi Arabia with an average age of 22.43. Following them are Japan (22.3), Jordan, Uzbekistan (22.04) and South Korea (22).

The youngest player in the tournament is Wang Yudong of China. He's also the only one born in 2006.

Vietnam's youngest players are defender Nguyen Manh Hung who was born in August 2005 and Le Nguyen Hoang born in February 2005.

Vietnam are one of four countries with all domestic players, along with the UAE, Kuwait and defending champion Saudi Arabia. Australia and Tajikistan have the most players abroad with seven each.

The list of players announced by AFC is temporary. The official list of 23 players will be finalized at a technical meeting one day before the teams play their opening match. Each team can register a minimum of 18 players and a maximum of 23. The players must be born on Jan. 1, 2001 or later.

The 2024 U23 Asian Cup, taking place April 15 to May 3 in Qatar, will also decide who qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The top three teams at the tournament will qualify, while the fourth-place team will face an African team in a playoff for the remaining spot.

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