Vietnam gain further advantage in U23 Asian Cup qualifiers

By Lam Thoa   August 11, 2021 | 11:27 pm PT
Vietnam gain further advantage in U23 Asian Cup qualifiers
Vietnam (in red) during the 2020 AFC U23 Championship. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Group I of the 2022 U23 Asian Cup qualifiers will only consist of Vietnam, Myanmar and Taiwan as Hong Kong were moved to another group.

After North Korea quit the tournament due to Covid-19 fears, group K only had Japan and Cambodia left. Therefore, the Asian Football Federation (AFC) hosted a re-draw ceremony for the qualifiers.

The four top-seeded teams and four hosts of the qualifiers stayed in their current group. The remaining teams China, Brunei, Timor Leste, the Philippines, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Laos were shuffled to draw one team to move. That team was later revealed to be Hong Kong.

With Hong Kong leaving group I, it will be even easier for Vietnam to top, since Myanmar and Taiwan are considered weaker teams.

The U23 Asian Cup qualifiers will take place from Oct. 23 to 31. Vietnam will travel to Taiwan to play all matches.

A total 41 teams were drawn into 11 groups with 15 spots available. Uzbekistan have already qualified as hosts, marking the first time the tournament is staged in Central Asia.

After the qualifiers conclude, 11 group leaders and four best second-placed teams would claim tickets to the 2022 U23 Asian Cup, set to take place from June 1 to 19.

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