Forbes: Vietnam U23s prove success of youth training

Wednesday, 2018-01-31 12:41:24
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Phan Van Duc (No. 14) of Vietnam U23 passes the ball during the AFC U23 Championship 2018 final against Uzbekistan at Changzhou Olympic Sports Centre, China on January 27.
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NDO – Forbes, a global media company, has run an article on its website stating that the performance of Vietnam’s U23 football team at the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship is clear proof of the success of good youth training.

Recalling the team’s path to the final, the article cites how Vietnam defeated regional favourites like Australia and Iraq, and topped “money-soaked squads” from rich countries like Qatar.

In their third consecutive match that went to extra-time and in blizzard conditions, the team only lost to Uzbekistan U23 in the last minute of the final match.

Though they were not rewarded with a trophy as champions, “their performance has garnered attention from around the world and shows promise for Vietnam’s football horizon,” the article said.

“Vietnam's success proves you don't have to invest huge sums of money, but you do need time.”

Forbes said that in 2007, the Vietnamese Football Federation cooperated with British club Arsenal FC to open the Hoang Anh Gia Lai academy which has developed players with technical competence, hard-tackling style, and athleticism.

Thousands of Vietnamese soccer fans pour into Hanoi's city centre to celebrate U23 Vietnam's silver medals at the AFC U23 competition on January 27.

“Nothing has changed about the academy except, ten years on, the number of academy players popping up at the top level,” the article wrote. Last year, in one U23 national side, nine of the 18 players were products of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai academy.

The number of Vietnamese teams on the international stage has also grown. Vietnam was Southeast Asia’s only representative at the FIFA U20 World Cup.

Therefore, according to Forbes, the only thing most people know about Vietnamese football is that “the youth team looks extremely promising.”

The Vietnamese football team finished as the runner-up of the AFC U23 Championship 2018 in China, after losing 2-1 to Uzbekistan in the final.

The team defeated Australia 1-0 in the group stage. They then took wins over Iraq in the quarterfinals and Qatar in the semifinals with penalty shootouts.