Tough draw for Vietnam at AFC U23 Championships

By Lan Phuong, Thanh Nien News

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AFC officials and representatives of the U23 Championships qualifiers at the drawing ceremony in Qatar on September 12, 2015. Photo credit: AFC
Vietnam will play against Australia, Jordan and UAE in Group D at the AFC U23 Championships in Qatar from January 12-30, 2016, according to drawing results announced on Saturday.
Tran Quoc Tuan, deputy chairman of Vietnam Football Federation, said that Vietnam needs good preparation for the league.
“I would not say any group is stronger than others. All teams who enter the finals are equally strong and mobilize the country’s best players in the age,” he said.
This is Vietnam’s debut at the continent’s U23 finals after ranked 2nd in Group I in qualifiers, after Japan. Malaysia and Macau were the two eliminated teams in the group.
Vietnam is listed in 4th seeded group with China, Thailand and Yemen.
Tuan said that Group D promises tough matches with surprising results.
“VFF will create best favors for Coach Toshiya Miura and his players to compete at the event,” he said.
AFC will select three best teams from four groups to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Tuan was regretful that he could not accompany Miura to the drawing ceremony in Qatar.
“If I had been there, I would have negotiated with relevant partners to organize friendly matches ahead of the finals, of course not the teams in Group D,” he said.
However, he said U23 Vietnam will have at least 4 international friendlies this year.
2016 AFC U23 FINALS
Group A: Qatar, Syria, Iran, China
Group B: Saudi Arabia, Japan, North Korea, Thailand
Group C: Iraq, South Korea, Yemen, Uzbekistan
Group D: Australia, Jordan, UAE, Vietnam

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