U22 players during training in Hà Nội. They will be the core of Việt Nam’s squad at the AFC U23 Championship in Thailand next January. Photo courtesy of VFF Football HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam have been named favourites in Group D at the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship after the draw on Thursdday in Bangkok. Last year’s runners-up are grouped with North Korea, Jordan and the UAE. Hosts Thailand are in Group A and will play former champions Iraq, Australia and Bahrain. Uzbekistan will open their title defence in Group C with South Korea, China and Iran. Qatar have been grouped with 2016 champions Japan, Saudi Arabia and Syria in Group B. The top two teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals. The tournament will kick off on January 8 with the final to be played on January 26. The top three teams will join Japan as Asian representatives at the 2020 Olympics. All four teams in Group D advanced to the finals last year after winning their qualification rounds. Jordan’s best result was a third place in 2013 while North Korea advanced to the quarter-finals in 2016. The UAE have reached the last eight in 2013 and 2016. Việt Nam were disqualified… Read full this story
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