U23 team to write new page in Vietnam’s football history

Vietnam U23 team is expected to write a new page in the history of Vietnamese football when they face U23 Syria in the last Group D qualifying round match at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship finals in China today.

Vietnam's U23 team trains in preparation for the match with Syria . (Photo: vff.org.vn)

Vietnam's U23 team trains in preparation for the match with Syria . (Photo: vff.org.vn)

In the two previous matches, Vietnam lost to the Republic of Korea (RoK) 1-2 and beat Australia 1-0. The victory against Australia marked a milestone for the U23 Vietnam team as the first time it has secured a win in the AFC finals. The success opened the door for Vietnam to enter the quarter-finals for the first time.

A victory over Syria would seal a spot in the next phase for Vietnam, while a draw may be enough depending on the outcome of the game between Australia and the RoK.

The RoK is now the top of the group with four points. While Vietnam and Australia rank second and third with three points, Syria is at the bottom with only one point.

“The upcoming match against Syria will be a great chance for Vietnam to write a new page for Vietnam football,” said midfielder and captain Luong Xuan Truong.

“We have had a good performance in the match with Australia. That win will be a motivating force for us to beat Syria. We will try our best to make Vietnamese football history more beautiful,” Truong added.

On the Syrian side, coach Hussein Afash of Syria was full of praise for the Vietnamese team. He said the Vietnam team had good discipline. With the line-up of 5-4-1, the Vietnamese team moved very fast when it held attacks.

Afash said he had searched for Vietnam’s strong and weak points by observing matches in the event. The Syrians also need a win to enter the next round.

“Syria will play with all our strength to earn a slot in the quarter-finals. I believe that my team’s chances are still clear and we will play with this belief,” said Afash.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF)’s leaders confirmed that they aren’t putting pressure on the Vietnamese team at the AFC event.

“We are very glad that in the past two matches, Vietnam had good advances in terms of experience, skill and spirit. We maintain our point of view that we aren’t setting any targets for the team,” said Vice President of the VFF Tran Quoc Tuan.

According to Tuan, Vietnam’s level of play isn’t as good as that of the RoK and Australia, so Vietnam’s results with the two above teams are praiseworthy, but now the team must stabilize their level of ability for the long term.

“Syria is a weak rival. They lost to Australia 1-3 and tied goalless with the RoK. Syrian players are very skillful so it is rather difficult for Vietnam to face them. It is very reasonable when coach Park Hang-seo asked his players to forget the win with Australia to focus on Syria,” said Tuan.

VNS

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