The Vietnamese national football team are ready for the AFC Asian Cup finals in January. — Photo

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is eagerly anticipating the performance of the Vietnamese national football team, led by coach Philippe Troussier, at the AFC Asian Cup finals in January.

In an article released by the AFC, they highlight the advantages of having Troussier guiding the Vietnamese team, a coach with previous AFC Asian Cup success.

The AFC believes that Việt Nam, with their quarter-final appearances in 2007 and 2019, possesses the quality and experience to challenge the best teams in Asia.

Việt Nam have made significant progress in recent years, establishing themselves as a prominent force in Southeast Asia alongside Thailand. Their quarter-final appearance in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup was followed by successful qualification for the third round of the World Cup qualifiers, marking their first-ever entry into this stage.

Although Park Hang-seo, who played a pivotal role in Việt Nam's rise, is no longer with the team, Troussier's proven record as a winner is seen as a valuable asset by the AFC.

Despite being drawn into Group D, which includes Japan (whom Troussier coached to the 2000 AFC Asian Cup title) along with regional rivals Indonesia and Iraq, both of whom have defeated Việt Nam in recent encounters, Việt Nam are considered a team to watch in the upcoming tournament, according to the AFC article.

The national team will face Japan on January 14 at Al Thumama Stadium, Indonesia on January 19 at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium and Iraq on January 24 at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.

The 2023 Asian Cup features 24 teams, including seven former champions, divided into six groups, with a round-robin format within each group. The top two teams from each group, as well as the four best-performing third-placed teams, will advance to the round of 16.

In the 2019 Asian Cup, under the guidance of coach Park Hang-seo, Việt Nam advanced to the knockout round as one of the best third-placed teams, eventually losing 1-0 to Japan in the quarter-finals.

The finals of the tournament will take place in Qatar from January 12 to February 10, 2024, promising an exciting and captivating spectacle.

Earlier, China was initially slated to host the event, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament was eventually awarded to Qatar. — VNS