The Hanoitimes - Coach Hoang Anh Tuan is optimistic about his team’s chances in the FIFA U20 World Cup, to be held in the Republic of Korea in May.
Although Tuan will know who their rivals are only after a draw on March 15, the coach has set a target of a berth in the second round for Vietnam in their debut in the world’s largest football competition.
“The U19s and U20s have almost no difference in their professional levels, except that those from Europe and South America are really confident about their skills,” said Tuan, adding that the lack of confidence was a weak point for all Asian teams, including Vietnam. “(Based on that reason) we are set to overcome the group round.”
Tuan has worked closely with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) in terms of preparations for the coming months.
Vietnam men's football team.
The team will have a training course in Germany late March, where they will play young teams of Fortuna Dusseldorf (on April 22), Borussia Dortmund (April 25) and PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands (April 27).
The VFF has invited the Argentinean U19 national team to practise and compete in Hanoi, as part of the warm-up activities for the hosts, along with several friendlies with local teams.
The federation also hopes to set up matches with World Cup participants who are not in the same group with Vietnam after the draw.
Tuan said these matches would help his players gain more experience and improve their playing style. It would also give their players time to reach their peaks ahead of the World Cup. It would also help him to determine the best line-up to make a bang, like the futsal team did last year.
The futsal team, which entered the World Cup’s quarter-final rounds, had prepared themselves excellently, in terms of physique and technique.
The U20 World Cup will be held from May 20 to June 11 across six cities. This year will be the 21st edition of the biennial international championship since its inception in 1977 as the FIFA World Youth Championship. The under-20 national teams of FIFA member associations participate in the competition.