|Thai U23 coach Alexandre Gama speaks at a press conference in Hanoi on March 21, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/DA
At a recent press conference held at the headquarters of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), the Brazilian coach appreciated recent achievements of Vietnam and said all the other teams were nurturing a desire to defeat them.
"Vietnam is the host of Group K of the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers, so Thailand really respects them. We have to practice, improve ourselves and compete with the best spirit when facing Vietnam’s team. This is a strong opponent, but Thailand has top players and we are confident to get good results," he said.
Although Thailand has already qualified for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship as the host, they are participating in the qualification round as preparation for the main tournament.
"Having a ticket in the final round as a host will help us play the qualification round with less pressure. But the matches in Vietnam are still very important. We have set the goal to play our best in Hanoi," Gama added.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese team has a lot of attention on it after they won the silver medal in the previous edition of the tournament, beating more fancied teams along the way.
Group K of the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers will be held at My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi.
Vietnam faces Brunei on March 22, Indonesia on March 24 and Thailand two days later. All matches will start at 8 p.m. Hanoi time.
To qualify for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship, Vietnam has to get the top spot in the group or become one of the best second-placed teams.