Coach Park: Vietnam have no fear of Thai rivals in continental U23 tournament qualifier

Thursday, 2019-03-14 10:23:20
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Coach Park Hang-seo confident ahead of the confrontation with Thailand and Indonesia U23s in the upcoming 2020 AFC U23 qualifier campaign. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – The confrontations between Vietnam and Thailand teams at all levels of football always create a special attraction and the clash between both sides in the upcoming 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualifier is no exception. Despite the pressure, Vietnam’s manager Park Hang-seo still expressed his confidence in his players when facing their Thai rivals in Hanoi in 12 days.

Sharing with the press on March 13, Park revealed part of his plan to prepare Vietnam U23s to face Thailand and Indonesia U23s at the qualifier campaign, when the teams will compete in Group K at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium, starting on March 22.

In the qualification for the finals, which will be held in Thailand early next year, Thailand and Indonesia U23s are identified as the two biggest opponents of Vietnam U23s. As the hosts of the final tournament, Thailand have been granted a slot in next year’s finals, but they will take the qualification campaign for their players to prepare for the final tournament. The Indonesian side are also tough opponents that will compete for the top spot in Group K with Vietnam.

Park 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."

Not only Thailand U23s, Park’s side also have to face Indonesia U23. The Korean coach said that Indonesia U22s beating Vietnam U22s in the semifinals of the recent 2019 AFF U-22 Championship was not enough to fully analyse the strength of the rivals.

“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,” affirmed Park.

Trong Huy and Lam Quy are among the three players that have to say goodbye to the U23 squad due to injuries. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

Regarding the squad, Park revealed that Vietnam U23s have said farewell to the first three players in the list of 37 summoned, including Tran Thanh, Lam Quy and Nguyen Trong Huy.

Regarding the reason for returning the three players to their clubs, coach Park said: “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.” All the three players have been injured before gathering with the team.

Vietnam will host Group K at the 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualification, with their first match against Brunei on March 22, before two further games, against Indonesia on March 24 and Thailand two days later.

The final tournament will be held in Thailand from January 8 to 26 next year.