U.21 national team prepared for int'l contest

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      Striker Nguyen Dinh Bao will be a key player leading the U.21 national team at the international contest. Photo: Kha Hoa

The U.21 national footballers have come together and are well-prepared for the 7th edition of the annual Under-21 International Football Tournament in Ninh Thuan Province, which kicks off Sunday.

Coach Dinh Van Dung said at the last minute that striker Trinh Duy Long from Hanoi T&T and midfielder Le Quoc Phuong from Hai Phong would not be competing in the event due to personal reasons.The coaching staff has thus called up Nguyen Viet Phong from Viettel and Giang Tran Quach Tan from Da Nang.

After finishing the 17th edition of the annual U.21 National Football Championship in Hai Phong on Sunday, the best players from each team were selected to form the national squad.

After a long trip of flying to Hanoi then from Hanoi to Cam Ranh before a bus ride to Ninh Thuan, the team is in high spirits.

"The U.21 International Football Tournament, also sponsored by Thanh Nien newspaper, has earned a good reputation and the selected national U.21s are honored to compete at this event. They will also be the main players for the U.22 national team for international events, so they will all try to show their best performances," Coach Dung said.

The team have unanimously agreed on Pham The Nhat from Song Lam Nghe An as captain and Do Van Thuan from Hanoi T&T and Nguyen Van Hung from Vinh Long as vice captains.

According to the coaches, the U.21 national team this year is not as strong as the U.21 teams in the previous years because some good players are playing for the U.19 and U.23 national teams.

However, the team this year will be a united squad playing with great energy and enthusiasm, according to the coaching staff, who were also quick to point out that the team still boasted stars such as Nguyen Dinh Bao, Van Cong, Do Van Thuan, Ho Khac Ngoc and Cao Xuan Thang.

The press conference for the tournament will be held today October 11, and organizers will introduce the five participating teams: Sydney, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. The teams will play round robin and the best two teams will fight for the championship while the third and fourth teams will clash for the third place.

FIXTURES

Oct 13: Singapore - Sydney (15:30), Vietnam - Myanmar (18:15).

Oct 15: Myanmar - Malaysia (15:30), Vietnam - Singapore (18:00).

Oct 17: Singapore - Myanmar (15:30), Sydney - Malaysia (18:00).

Oct 19: Malaysia - Singapore (15: 30), Sydney - Vietnam (18:00).

Oct 21: Myanmar - Sydney (15:30), Malaysia - Vietnam (18:00).

Oct 23: match for third place (15:30), final match for championship (18:00).

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