Vietnam drawn in tough group at 2018 AFC U23 Championship finals

Wednesday, 2017-10-25 11:51:08
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This will be the last AFC U23 Championship version for the 1995-born players like Cong Phuong (number 10).
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NDO – Vietnam have been drawn in Group D, alongside Australia, Syria and the Republic of Korea (reigning runners-up), as the draw of the 2018 AFC U23 Championship finals was conducted in China on October 24.

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The ceremony featured the attendance of representatives from the 16 qualified teams, which were drawn into four groups of four teams. The teams were seeded according to their performance in the 2016 AFC U23 Championship finals and in the qualification of the 2018 tournament.

This is the second time that Vietnam have made their way to the AFC U23 Championship final tournament. The team qualified as one of the five best second-placed teams in the qualification round, finishing behind the leader, the Republic of Korea, in Group I.

Two other representatives of Southeast Asia, Thailand and Malaysia, face a similar situation as they have been drawn into groups of tough opponents.

Thailand join reigning champions Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Palestine in Group B, while Malaysia were drawn in Group C, together with 2016 third-place finisher Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Group A features hosts China, Uzbekistan, Omar and 2016 fourth-place finisher, Qatar.

The teams will play in a round robin format to decide the top two teams from each group that will advance into the knockout stage.

The 2018 AFC U23 Championship finals is set to take place from January 9 to 27, 2018 in four cities of Jiangshu province, namely Changzhou, Kunshan, Jiangyin and Changshu.

Vietnam will play their opening Group D match against the Republic of Korea on January 11 before taking on Australia and Syria on January 14 and 17, respectively.

The competition will be the first test for the Republic of Korea trainer, Park Hang-seo, as the head coach of Vietnam’s national and U23 football teams.