Vietnam footballers in light group at U23 AFF Cup

By Nghia Thang   May 29, 2023 | 06:39 pm PT
Vietnam footballers in light group at U23 AFF Cup
Vietnam players celebrate the U23 AFF title on February 26, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Anh
The U23 AFF Cup draw on Monday placed Vietnam's football squad into the relatively light group C with Philippines and Laos.

Group A has Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, while group B has Timor-Leste, Malaysia and Indonesia. The three group winners and the best runner-up will advance to the semifinals.

The 2023 U23 AFF Cup will take place in Thailand from August 17 to 26.

Vietnam are the defending champions.

At the 2022 tournament, Vietnam missed many players because of Covid-19 and had to make several additions to the squad. However, coach Dinh The Nam led the team to overcome Thailand and Singapore in the group stage, and then Timor Leste in the semifinals.

In the final, Vietnam encountered Thailand again and won the title with the only goal by Tran Bao Toan.

The draw result of the 2023 U23 AFF Cup

The draw result of the 2023 U23 AFF Cup.

At this year's tournament, Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) will use mainly U20 players in order to help younger players gain more experience. National team coach Philippe Troussier will not lead the squad at the AFF Cup. Instead, a domestic coach, most likely Hoang Anh Tuan, who helped Vietnam qualify for the U20 World Cup, will be in charge of the team.

Vietnam will play the opening match against Laos on August 20. They will then play the Philippines two days later.

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