It is considered a tough mission for Việt Nam as Japan are the top team in Asia and in 68th ranking, Iraq are 26 places higher than Việt Nam.
|Vietnamese players will begin training next month for the Asian Games. The team target a place in the knockout stage in Qatar. — Photo of VFF
HÀ NỘI — The national team of Việt Nam will begin training next month in preparation for the 2023 Asian Cup which may see goalkeeper Filip Nguyễn making his debut as a Vietnamese citizen.
Việt Nam, the Southeast Asian runners-up, will play Indonesia, 2007 champions Iraq and four-time winners Japan in Group D after a draw conducted in May at the Katara Opera House in Doha, Qatar.
The AFC announced the competition schedule on November 27. The Cup, which features 24 teams in six groups, will be held from January 12 to February 10, 2024.
Việt Nam will play Japan on January 14, Indonesia on January 19, and Iraq five days later.
It is considered a tough mission for Việt Nam as Japan are the top team in Asia and in 68th ranking, Iraq are 26 places higher than Việt Nam. Iraq also beat Việt Nam 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier on November 21.
Indonesia are Việt Nam’s arch-rival in Southeast Asia. The team usually poses a challenge for Việt Nam in either the regional championship or SEA Games.
Two best teams of each group and the four best third-placed sides will advance to the last-eight round.
The tournament was initially to be hosted this summer by China who then cancelled the event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Qatar then was selected to host the event.
In the Asian Cup 2019, under coach Park Hang-seo, Việt Nam qualified for the knock-out round as one of the best third-place teams. The Golden Star Warriors advanced to the quarter-finals where they lost 1-0 to Japan
Vietnamese players will begin training on December 28 in Hà Nội.
It is expected that goalie Filip Nguyễn will receive his Việt Nam passport in early December and will help coach Philippe Troussier strengthen his defence at the upcoming tournaments including the Asian Cup and the World Cup qualifiers.
|Goalkeeper Filip Nguyễn will have a Việt Nam passport next month and meets all requirements to play for the national team if he is picked by head coach Philippe Troussier. — Photo of Hà Nội Police
Troussier currently put his belief in Vietnamese-Russian custodian Đặng Văn Lâm to guard the goal. However, the French tactician still wanted to have more options for this position.
Lâm is rich in experience competing on continental playgrounds. Possessing a height of 1.88m, he owns sharp reflexes and is good at blocking, but still shows shortcomings in choosing inappropriate positions. The 30-year-old is also not good at managing the ball by feet.
The Việt Nam Football Federation has strongly supported Filip in the procedures and documents process.
Filip, 31, is 1.92m and has made a name in the European arena when he played for Sparta Prague, Slovan Liberec as well as the Czech Republic youth team.
He expressed his desire to contribute to the Vietnamese team for a long time before signing a three-year contract with Hà Nội Police FC in June. Two months later he won the national premier league with the new team.