With Vietnam and Thailand in Group K of the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers, many are looking ahead to the battle of rivals.
Their first meeting will be at My Dinh Stadium and Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo believes that his team do not fear their continental rivals.
In the tournament proper, Thailand are the hosts which assures them a spot in the competition. However, they’re still competing to give their young squad enough matches to prepare.
Park spoke as Vietnam go through preparations and said: “Thailand are the host of the 2020 AFC U23 Championship and they are focused on preparation work. I know they will bring a very strong squad to Hanoi to participate in qualifying matches. I think the confrontation between Vietnam and Thailand U23s will be very attractive. In 2017, Vietnam U23s encountered hosts Thailand at the M150-Cup friendly tournament and we were the winners. In the upcoming tournament, Vietnam are in a little short of preparation due to the V.League fixture, but I believe that my players are not afraid of any rivals and we will get good results.”
Outside of Thailand, Vietnam also have rivals Indonesia in the group and Park admitted that their AFF U-22 Championship match was not enough time for him to come up with a concrete analysis on their opponents.
He said: “In the upcoming qualifier, it is very fortunate that Vietnam will meet Brunei first, while Thailand and Indonesia will face each other, so we will have some data to analyse them. Although it is difficult, we will continue to fight with the Vietnam’s spirit.”
As they streamline the squad, Park revealed he has cut the first set of players, Tran Thanh, Lam Quy and Nguyen Trong Huy.
Park revealed the reason of them being excluded, saying: “Yesterday, these players went for MRI screening and the coaching staff found that their injuries require quite a lot of time for full recovery. That’s why I have to leave them out.”
Photo courtesy of VN Express