Vietnam least experienced team in U23 Asian Cup

By Xuan Binh   May 31, 2022 | 03:00 am PT
Vietnam least experienced team in U23 Asian Cup
Vietnam (L) play Thailand in the SEA Games 31 final on May 22, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Compared to other teams in the 2022 U23 Asian Cup, Vietnam lack experience at both club and national team level.

The young players of U23 Vietnam have only played a total 185 games in V. League. With little data on Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan, Vietnam seem to be the least experienced team in the tournament.

Vietnam U23 have also only played eight official matches for the national team, only slightly more than Iran, Japan and Australia.

The lack of experience is shown when Vietnam are put next to their regional rival Thailand. The team of coach Worrawoot Srimaka have played 506 games at the club and 32 at the national level. Among these, defender Kritsada Kaman and midfielder Ekanit Panya have already played 179 games in Thai League, nearly equal to the combined number of 23 Vietnam players. This means Thai League used much more young players than V. League.

Saudi Arabia are the most experienced team in this tournament. Their young players have played 759 games in Saudi Pro League. On average, an U23 player of Saudi Arabia has played 33 games in the domestic league. Vietnam only has keeper Nguyen Van Toan who played 33 games in V. League.

Without the overage players like in SEA Games 31, plus an inexperienced squad, the new U23 Vietnam head coach Gong Oh-kyun will face difficulties in the group stage.

2022 U23 Asian Cup will be hosted from June 1 to 19 in Uzbekistan. Sixteen teams are divided into four groups. The top two of each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.

In the group stage, Vietnam will face Thailand on June 2, South Korea on June 5, and Malaysia three days later.

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