Vietnam’s coach Park Hang-seo (second left) and coaches of Group D teams at the press conference in Thailand yesterday. — Photo vff.org.vn

The match at Buriram Stadium is the side's first of the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championships finals in Thailand.

“I am honoured to lead the Vietnam U23 team to take part in the AFC championship. Group D is rather difficult as it features the top teams of the continent. Vietnam aim to reach the knock-out round,” said Park at a press conference in Thailand yesterday.

“The first match with the UAE is very important and rather difficult. The UAE are a strong team, however, Vietnam will make every effort to have the best result."

Vietnam lost to the UAE on penalties in the bronze medal match at the Asian Games in 2018, while in qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup last November, Nguyen Tien Linh’s strike earned the Vietnamese side a 1-0 win.

“We know the UAE team well as Vietnam have met them several times. There is a bit of pressure when facing them in Thailand this year but we will use the information we have learned to find victory,” said Park.

"Vietnam are in good form and ready for the upcoming game,” Park added.

According to Park, Vietnam are considered one of the favourites of the tournament as they were the runners-up at the same event in 2018, but all 16 teams have an equal chance to lift the trophy.

Meanwhile, coach Marcej Skorza of UAE also set a target of three points to have a good start to their goal of playing in the Tokyo Olympics this summer, despite not having the service of key forward Mohammed Juma.

The Polish coach said his team had prepared carefully for the strong teams in Group D.

The UAE suffered a setback in preparation as their key striker Juma was sent home after suffering a knee injury in a pre-tournament friendly.

However, Skorza said he believes in his squad's ability to overcome losing Juma.

Skorza also said that he knew Vietnam would have a new way of playing, but the most important thing was that Vietnam had a good discipline. He had high praise for Vietnam’s discipline and team spirit.

Singaporean referee Muhammad Taqi will manage the match.

The 33-year-old has been a FIFA listed referee since 2012 and has also refereed several AFC Champions League matches.

Group leader of video assistant referee (VAR) will be Fu Ming of China alongside two assistants Ma Ning of China and Tojo Minoru of Japan. — VNS

Vietnam aren’t afraid of UAE: midfielder Hung

Vietnam aren’t afraid of UAE: midfielder Hung

The United Arab Emirates are very strong but Vietnam aren’t afraid of them, according to midfielder Nguyen Trong Hung.