Sports

Keeper My aims to snuff out all threats at AFC U20 Finals

The Vietnamese side left for Tashkent last week, giving them two weeks to get familiar with the competition conditions and the cold weather.

Football

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Goalkeeper Danh Thị Kiều My in training with the Việt Nam team.

HÀ NỘI — Goalkeeper Danh Thị Kiều My is gunning for clean sheets at the AFC Women’s U20 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan next month.

The Vietnamese side left for Tashkent last week, giving them two weeks to get familiar with the competition conditions and the cold weather.

On February 24, they earned a 1-1 draw in the snow and freezing temperatures against the hosts in a friendly match ahead of the championship.

Coach Akira Ijiri and his players discovered their mistakes and are working hard to get them fixed.

“My teammates and I have improved our fitness, technique and tactics,” My said.

“The friendly with Uzbekistan taught us more lessons and gave us experience that would be useful when we are play strong rivals.

“It is much colder here than in Việt Nam and we are gradually adapting to the condition. It was also because of the train and slippery field that prevented us from delivering our best performance.”

Việt Nam are in Group B along with powerhouses Japan, North Korea and China. Although not favourites, coach Ijiri sees the tournament as a chance for his players to come of age.

My added: “We know that our rivals are in higher level than us. We encourage each other to make more effort in trainings and during the matches. Coach Ijiri also reminds us that we represent Việt Nam so we have to fight for the national pride.

“Personally, I am excited and looking fowards to the Cup Finals. I will show my best. I hope that I can keep many clean sheets for Việt Nam.”

Sharing her opinion, striker Nguyễn Thị Như Quỳnh added: “Our three rivals are very strong. Japan are the continental top team while North Korea and China showed off their strength at the U16 event and we witnessed.

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Players during a friendly match between Việt Nam (in purple) and Uzbekistan on February 24. Both of sides prepare for their Asian Cup competition.

“We feel lucky to play such powerful teams. We will have to well prepare for single match,” said Quỳnh who suffered twisted ankle prior to the team’s depart for Uzbekistan.

“I still feel hurt when training heavily but I think I would quickly recover and join the team in the next few days.”

Việt Nam will have the second friendly with the hosts on February 27.

Coach Ijiri said: “Uzbekistan is freezing currently. We come here early to be familiar with the weather. It is good for players as they will play big teams.

“We will meet Japan in the first match on March 4. At that mark, I think my players will achieve 90-100 per cent of our expectation.”

Matches against 2007 winners North Korea and 2006 champions China will be on March 7 and 10, respectively.

Group A feature South Korea, Australia, Chinese Taipei and the hosts.

Teams will play in round robin format, with two top teams advancing to the semi-finals.

The final is scheduled on March 16. Four strongest teams will qualify for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024 in September.

Theo Vietnamnews