Vietnam a top tier team at 2020 AFC U23 Championship

By Xuan Binh   March 27, 2019 | 03:28 am PT
Vietnam a top tier team at 2020 AFC U23 Championship
Vietnam (red) clash Thailand in the AFC U23 qualifier in Hanoi, March 26, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Last year’s runner-up Vietnam is in Pot 1 with hosts Thailand, Uzbekistan and Qatar for the 2020 Asian tournament.

The 16 teams participating in the fourth AFC U23 Championship were confirmed after the final qualifying round Tuesday.

They were then drawn into four seeding groups according to their performances in the previous edition and the qualifiers, with the hosts Thailand automatically seeded in Pot 1.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Thailand South Korea China Syria
Uzbekistan Iraq Australia Iran
Vietnam Japan Japan UAE
Qatar North Korea Saudi Arabia Bahrain

Before the tournament gets underway, the 16 teams will be divided into four groups with representatives from each pot.

With its pot 1 membership, Vietnam will be able to avoid Asian Cup champions Qatar and the AFC U23 reigning champion Uzbekistan, who beat Vietnam 2-1 in the last minute of extra time in the final last year.

However, Vietnam may still clash with other regional heavyweights South Korea, Saudi Arabia or Iran in the very first phase.

The official drawing ceremony is scheduled to take place in October 2019.

Vietnam entered the tournament after topping group K of the qualification round. They convincingly defeated all three regional opponents Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand.

The 2020 AFC U23 Championship will be held from January 8 to 26. The top three teams of the 4th edition will qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics men's football tournament as the Asian representatives, alongside hosts Japan.

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