Vietnam are likely to book their place at the 2020 AFC U19 Championship after a goalless draw with Japan in their last qualifier in Group J at Ho Chi Minh City’s Thong Nhat Stadium on November 10.
The Vietnamese squad secured seven points and a goal difference of +6, thus standing among the four best second-placed teams eligible for next year’s tournament to be held in Uzbekistan.
With an especially impressive defensive display, hosts Vietnam managed to shut out Japan for much of the game and even launched several attacks of their own.
The match’s turning point came in the 74th minute when Japan’s forward Soromon Sakuragawa received a red card.
Both teams finished on seven points but Japan sealed their spot as group winners thanks to a superior goal difference.
In the other match in Group J, Mongolia defeated Guam 4-3.
The Asian qualifiers will wrap up later this month. The winners of 11 groups and the four best second-placed teams will join the hosts for the finals from October 14-31 next year.
The top four teams at the tournament will qualify for the 2021 FIFA U20 World Cup in Indonesia as AFC representatives.
Vietnam's best result at the event was a semi-final berth in 2016 when they lost 3-0 to Japan. They made history as the first ever Vietnamese team to win a slot at a World Cup./. VNA
Despite enjoying back-to-back victories, Vietnam still lags behind Japan in Group J of the AFC U-19 Championship due to an inferior goal difference.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa have both given their full support for the inaugural ASEAN Club Championship (ACC), which will kick off next year.