What expectations for Vietnam at AFC U23 Asian Championship

VOV.VN - The Vietnam U23 side that won a gold at the recent SEA Games 2022 will play their archrivals such as the Republic of Korea and Thailand in AFC U23 Asian Cup group series scheduled to begin in Uzbekistan on June 2.

New and familiar faces

Veteran coach Park Hang-seo who led Vietnam U23 to the glory at SEA Games 31 is no longer training his students at the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup. Instead newly appointed Gong Oh-kyun is taking the helm of the squad, hoping to build on his successor’s success, and this is a great challenge for him.  

Luckily, all 14 key players who won gold at SEA games 31 remain in the U23 squad, with some of the notable faces including goalkeeper Van Toan, defenders Viet Anh and Thanh Binh, midfielder Ly Cong Hoang Anh, and striker Nham Manh Dung. 

The remaining nine who didn’t compete at SEA Games 31 took part in Gong’s training sessions, giving them a chance to see their coach’s tactics.

Vietnam lost 3-0 to hosts the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a friendly match played on May 30 ahead of their AFC U23 Asian Cup campaign. This was the first time the Vietnamese team had lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, which is quite different from the old 5-4-1, 5-3-2, 3-4-1-2, and 3-4-2-1 formations previously deployed by Park.

Playing in a 4-3-3 formations requires a new style of attacking play and putting added pressure on the opposition when they are in possession, a contrast to the defensive counterattacking style used by Park.

The effectiveness of these new tactics will be proven through competitive matches in the future.

Strong opponents at AFC U23 Asian Cup

Vietnam will play the RoK, Thailand and Malaysia in Group C. Apparently the RoK are widely considered the strongest team and will almost certainly win a place in the next round. The remaining three Southeast Asian teams look set to vie for second place in the group.

Although both Malaysia and Thailand lost to Vietnam at SEA Games 31, their recent changes show a win for Vietnam would be more difficult.

Coach Brad Maloney of Malaysia’s U23s who took charge at SEA Games 31 looks set to employ new tactics in Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s new coach Worrawoot Srimaka called up seven footballers who are currently playing abroad, mostly in Europe, and many believe the Thais have the best line-up going into tournament.

Vietnam U23 stunned Thailand U23 1-0 in a dramatic final match at SEA Games 31 in late May, and their rematch on June 2 is worth watching.

In early 2018 Vietnam u23 led by Park Hang-seo made history when finishing runner-up at the AFC U23 tournament for the first time. Fans are now looking forwards to good results from the squad coached by Gong

The 2022 U23 Asian Cup will run from June 1 to June 19 in Uzbekistan. A total of 16 teams have been divided into four groups, with the top two of each group qualifying for the quarterfinals.

In the group stage, Vietnam will face Thailand on June 2, the RoK on June 5, and Malaysia three days later.