AFC U-16 Championship Rival Watch: Vietnam
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The Golden Dragons will look to dazzle with their attacking brand of football.
The AFC U-16 Championship is just around the corner and a team which can cause big problems for India in the tournament is Vietnam. The Golden Dragons have set up a promising youth team and years of work on their own grassroot system has done wonders. Vietnam have proven to be an unpredictable side recently, as they love to play attacking football and have a really well-synchronized unit, which can terrorize their opponents on any given day.
About The Tournament
The AFC U-16 Championship has been Asia’s premier international youth competition for over three decades now, with the tournament's reputation growing leaps and bounds since its inception in 1985. Since then, the top Asian countries have participated in this biennial tournament which has given rise to some of the most prominent Asian players in recent years.
Vietnam’s best showing at the tournament was way back in 2000, when they finished in fourth place after making their way into the semi-finals. Vietnam also fought their way to attaining an impressive quarterfinal finish two years ago in India, but were ousted by eventual runners-up Iran. They will hope to exact revenge on Iran who are also in their group, while also improving upon their finish last time out, in this edition.
About The Team
The Vietnam U-16 team is regarded as one of the best in the region
Vietnam might be currently ranked 137th in the FIFA rankings, but that has not affected the growth of their youth teams, which have been performing really well over the years. The Golden Dragons won the AFF U-15 Championship last year with this squad, with the young boys absolutely flooring their opponents by scoring 18 goals in the tournament. They will be a team whose threat everyone needs to be wary off and knowing the chemistry these boys share together, they will be a real force at the tournament.
Last Year’s Performance
Vietnam gave a valiant effort in the AFC U-16 Championship two years ago and despite being put in a tricky group alongside Japan, Australia and Kyrgyzstan, they managed to overcome all the odds. While they fell to a disappointing loss to Japan, Vietnam rallied back to defeat Australia in what was a hard-fought win. They would then go on to defeat Kyrgyzstan relatively easily, but found themselves facing heavyweights Iran in the quarterfinals. Despite their efforts, they were convincingly ousted by the West Asians and bowed out of the tournament after a crushing 5-0 loss.
Viet has promoted a unique brand of attacking football as the head coach of the side
Vu Hong Viet has done a fantastic job of handling the youth teams of Vietnam and has got them playing an attractive brand of football. Viet’s Vietnam show no sign of fear even against difficult opponents, something which makes them a refreshing side to watch. The tactician has been at the helm of the Vietnam youth teams for many years now. A warm coach who keeps asking for and getting improvement out of his players, Viet can help the Golden Dragons play an eye-catching brand of football and reach newer heights this year.
Pham Thanh Long (Quang Ninh Coal Club), Dinh Thanh Trung (Viettel Sport Center), Nguyen Duc Hieu (Viettel Sport Center), Pham Van Dat (Viettel Sport Center), Ngo Thanh Tai (Hanoi), Bean Ngoc Thanh (Hanoi), Vu Tien Long (Hanoi), Nguyen Duy Dung (Hanoi), Ngo Duc Hoang (Hanoi), Do Manh Cuong (Khanh Hoa Financial Training Center), Tran Thanh Tu (Binh Duong club), Do Minh Minh Nhut (Binh Duong club), Ha Trung Hau (Binh Duong club), Nguyen Van Viet (Song Lam Club of Nghe An), Hoang Van Thong (Song Lam Club of Nghe An), Vo Minh Dan (SHB Da Nang Club), Tran Lam Hao (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund), Ho Van Cuong (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund), Trinh Quang Truong (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund), Nguyen The Hung (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund), Vo Nguyen Hoang (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund), Vo Quoc Dan (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund), Chi Chi Bao (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund), Trinh Van Chung (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund), Ngo Quoc Hoang (Vietnam Football Development and Promotion Fund).
Players To Watch
Nguyen Quoc Hoang
Watch: Nguyen Quoc Hoang Goals, Skills & Assists
Nguyen Quoc Hoang has proven himself to be among the rising stars of Vietnam and having performed well at the youth level over the past few years, he’s ready to prove his potential in the AFC U-16 Championship. Hoang scored a hat-trick against the Philipines recently at the AFF U-16 Championship 2018 and looks to be in top form.
His off the ball movement and eye for goal makes him an unpredictable player in the final third and he will look to use his clever nature to terrorize opponents at the tournament.
Dinh Tranh Trung
Dinh Tranh Trung was the breakout star for Vietnam at the 2018 AFF U-16 Championship, as he stole the spotlight during the tournament. The winger proved his ability by scoring in each of Vietnam’s five matches in the tournament. Trung’s dangerous movement, pace and impressive finishing ability was on display, as he scored eight goals in five matches!
He finished the tournament as the second highest goalscorer despite being eliminated in the group stages itself and scored braces against Myanmar and Indonesia.
Dau Ngoc Thanh
Dau Ngoc Thanh is expected to lead Vietnam’s fiery attack at the AFC U-16 Championship and has given a good account of himself with his work in recent games for the Golden Dragons. Thanh has been a fox in the box for Vietnam and his ability to pop into the right positions could cause problems for opponents.
Thanh scored an impressive goal recently against Phillippines, as he delivered a real poacher’s finish to prove his goalscoring ability.
What To Expect
Vietnam will be the dark-horses in their group because of their dangerous threat going forward and ability to rip apart any defense on their day. India will need to be wary of their threat in their opening match and if things go well for the Golden Dragons in their first outing, they could go deep in the tournament.
Vietnam’s unpredictability makes it possible for them to thwart the big guns and make it through to the knockout stages, but demanding coach Vu Hong Viet will be aiming to go as far as possible this time around.
Published: Sun Sep 09, 2018 03:41 PM IST