Việt Nam to face Japan in Futsal Asian Cup

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Việt Nam at the 31st SEA Games last month. The team will take part in the AFC Futsal Cup on September 25 – October 20 in Kuwait. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam are in Group D at the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Futsal Cup which will be held in Kuwait between September 25 and October 20.

At the 17th edition event, which was previously known as the AFC Futsal Championship, a total of 16 teams will compete in four groups.

In Group D, Việt Nam are with South Korea, Saudi Arabia and powerhouse Japan.

Kuwait, Iraq, Thailand and Oman make up Group A; Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan Group B; and Iran, Lebanon, Taiwan (China) and Indonesia Group C.

Teams will compete in a round-robin format in the group stage. The top two teams of each group will advance to the knockout phase.

In Group D, Japan, who are one of the strongest teams on the continent, are considered a shoo-in for qualification to the knockouts. Việt Nam, who advanced to the 2022 World Cup’s last-eight round, are also favourites to get out of their group. Việt Nam are Asia’s No 8; South Korea are No 15 and Saudi Arabia No 19.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be played in Kuwait in February 2022. However, the AFC announced that the tournament would be rescheduled to the current dates.

The team will not have head coach Phạm Minh Giang, who plans to take part in a training course in Spain.

The team will instead welcome an Argentinean coach to guide them in the Asian Cup.

The name of the coach has not been revealed but it is said he is Diego Giustozzi, who led Argentina to win the World Cup trophy in 2016.

The new coach, whose contract with Elpozo Murcia FC of Spain will end this month, will arrive in Việt Nam with an assistant in August.

According to Trần Anh Tú, head of the Việt Nam Football Federation’s Futsal Department, the new coaches will work with team who just won a bronze medal at the 31st SEA Games, which ended two weeks ago in Hà Nội.

Currently, the National Futsal Championship’s qualification is ongoing in Lâm Đồng Province. The finals’ first leg will be from June 13 to July 7.

Players who show their talents might be nominated to the new coaching board, according to Tú.

The Football Association of Thailand has invited Việt Nam and some other teams such as Iran, Morocco, Uzbekistan, France and the Solomon Islands to take part in a friendly tournament in early September, to prepare for the Asian Cup. — VNS

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