Vietnam to face tough group opposition at Asian U19 championship

By Vinh San   May 12, 2020 | 03:09 pm GMT+7
Vietnam to face tough group opposition at Asian U19 championship
Vietnam U19 team (in white) during a qualification game for 2020 AFC U19 Championship against Japan on November 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Vietnam’s U19 football team could be placed in a group with strong opponents at this year’s AFC U19 Championship.

The nation’s placement in the third-seeded pot with Iraq, Malaysia and Cambodia means the team is set to face stronger opponents from the first and second pots. The first pot has South Korea, Saudi Arabia and hosts Uzbekistan; and the second - Japan, Tajikistan, Australia and Indonesia. Below Vietnam, in the fourth-seeded pot, are Iran, Yemen, Bahrain and Laos.

The drawing ceremony for AFC U19 Championship group stage will be conducted on June 18 at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The tournament will take place from October 14 to 31 in Uzbekistan.

Vietnam’s U19 team is led by French coach Philippe Troussier. He carries expectations that he will lead the team to qualify for the U20 FIFA World Cup for the second time in history.

In the AFC U19 qualifiers 2019, Vietnam was grouped with Japan, Mongolia and Guam. They beat Mongolia 3-0, Guam 4-1 and fought Japan to a goalless draw to proceed further as one of the best second-placed teams.

According to FIFA’s decision, Asia will have five slots in the 2021 U20 World Cup. One slot belongs to hosts Indonesia and the other four to the semifinalists at the AFC U19 Championship.

Since Indonesia has automatically qualified, if they get to the semi-finals, the tournament will host a bonus playoff round between four teams that lose at the quarter-final stage. The winner of this round will get the last ticket to the World Cup.

In 2016, Vietnam reached the semi-finals of AFC U19 Championship and qualified for the 2017 U20 World Cup. It was the first time in history that a Vietnamese football team had qualified for a World Cup tournament.

 
 
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