One point needed for Vietnam to qualify for U23 Asian Cup

Monday, 2021-11-01 18:47:39
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Vietnam U23 team during a training camp in Kyrgyzstan. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – Vietnam are in the driving seat to progress to the final tournament of the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Asian Cup, with only one point needed to make it through from the ongoing qualifying round in Kyrgyzstan.

Currently, Vietnam and Myanmar have 3 points each after their first win over Chinese Taipei in their respective openers in Group I. But Vietnam are just ahead of Myanmar by the fair-play index by comparing their respective number of yellow cards. After two losses, Chinese Taipei are at the bottom of the table.

In the last round, if Vietnam draw with Myanmar, the two teams will have a penalty shootout to compete for the first place in their group.

Currently, both U23 Vietnam and U23 Myanmar have 3 points, with the same goal difference of +1 with their number of goals scored and goal conceded both at 1 (both having beaten Chinese Taipei 1 - 0 previously).

The current rankings in Group I.

That makes their clash tomorrow essentially a final to determine first place in Group I - equivalent to a direct ticket to the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup final tournament.

In the event the two teams tie, something unprecedented in the history of the Asian U23 qualifying round, Vietnam and Myanmar will be equal across all indexes, and according to AFC regulations, will have to have a penalty shootout to determine the winner.

But with the results of other groups ending on October 31, if Vietnam lose to Myanmar in the penalty shootout, they will still progress as one of the four best runners-up.

Of the 11 groups in the qualifying round, seven groups have been completed, namely Groups A, B, E, G, H, J and K. Of which, the second team in Group G – Indonesia, were eliminated, as this group has only two teams after China and Brunei withdrew. According to the tournament rules, the top team of the group and the four runner-up teams with the highest results in the qualifying round will progress. In the groups of four teams, the results of the second and fourth place teams do not count. As for Group G, there are two teams, the second will be eliminated immediately without comparing the results with the other runner-up teams.

The current rankings of the second-placed teams in the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup qualifiers.

In Group J, Malaysia took the lead and join second-placed Thailand to progress. The second team of groups A, B, E, H and K has the highest score of three, including Tajikistan and Cambodia.

Groups D and F are not over yet, but the runners-up in these groups certainly can't earn more than three points.

The remaining two groups C and I are still incomplete. But, the second team in these two groups only needs to earn four points to follow Thailand into the final round.

In Group I, Vietnam will join Myanmar and progress if they tie in their last group match. At that time, a penalty shootout is only way to determine the first and second team in the group.

After watching the full match between Myanmar and Chinese Taipei, coach Park Hang-seo has collected information about Vietnam’s next opponents. The important thing is that Myanmar will not have their coach Velizar Popov on the bench as he received a red card in the last match.

Coach Park Hang-seo and his Vietnamese U23 players during a training camp in Kyrgyzstan. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

The Korean coach has gained a lot of experience after putting all of his attacking players in for the tough victory over Chinese Taipei. Therefore, as the next match will decide the top of Group I, Park will filed his strongest squad.

The "final" match of Group I between U23 Vietnam and U23 Myanmar will take place at Dolen Omurzakov stadium (Kyrgyzstan) at 5pm on November 2.

The final round will take place from June 1 to 19 in Uzbekistan next year, bringing together 16 teams, among them the nine teams have qualified, including the hosts, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand. The grouping of the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup will be based on the performance of the teams in the qualifying round, and at the 2020 AFC U23 Championship.