AFC looks forward to Vietnamese participation at Futsal Asian Cup

VOV.VN - The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) expressed their appreciation of the Vietnamese futsal team ahead of their opening game against the Republic of Korea (RoK) on the evening of September 28 in Group D of the 2022 AFC Futsal Asian Cup.

Vietnam have been drawn in Group D alongside Japan, the RoK, and Saudi Arabia.

Japan are early favourites to top the group, whilst Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and the RoK are likely to all be competing for a place in the knock-out stage.

Vietnam go into the tournament having qualified third in the ASEAN Zone and will be looking to hit the ground running when they take on the RoK in their opening fixture of the regional competition, according to the AFC.

Having finished fourth at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia back in 2016, head coach Diego Raul Giustozzi played down Vietnam’s prospects as a potential favourite, stating that his team still has plenty of room for improvement, the AFC website said.

Having a famous head coach in the form of Giustozzi and a natural goal scorer like Thinh Phat are two key factors which could bring success to Vietnam in the future.

Giustozzi is an Argentine national born in 1978 who is most notable for leading his native country to victory at the 2016 Futsal World Cup in Colombia. His goal is to contribute to the Vietnamese futsal team continuing to develop moving forward.

Player Nguyen Thinh Phat scored five goals for Vietnam in the qualifying round of the AFC Futsal Asian Cup. He also scored the only goal in the decisive match against Myanmar to send Vietnam to the final of the Asian tournament.

Despite regularly qualifying for the finals, the RoK’s last semi-final appearance was way back in 2002. Elsewhere in the group, this year’s tournament will be Saudi Arabia’s second time participating in the tournament.

Vietnam will play the RoK, Saudi Arabia, and Japan on September 28, September 30, and October 2, respectively.

The group stage will close in Kuwait on October 2. The quarterfinals, semi-finals, and finals will get underway on October 4, October 6, and October 8.