Vietnam U20 Women’s team Kick Off 2024 AFC Asian Cup Quest in Uzbekistan

On the morning of February 21, the Vietnam U20 Women’s National Team, led by Head Coach Akira, officially departed for Uzbekistan to participate in the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2024, which will take place in early March.

Previously, Coach Akira Ijiri finalized a list of 25 players with the best form, suitable for the team’s playstyle and tactics for the upcoming championship. To prepare thoroughly for this important tournament, the Vietnam U20 Women’s National Team will have a 10-day training camp before the competition, helping Bao Tram and her teammates to adapt to the weather conditions (quite cold with an average temperature of 10 degrees Celsius) and play in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

According to the plan, the Vietnam U20 Women’s players will have two practice matches against the host team, U20 Uzbekistan Women, on February 24 and 27 during their training camp in Tashkent. These will be the final crucial preparations, serving as the basis for Head Coach Akira and his assistants to make the final decision on the official 23-player roster to register for the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2024.

Regarding the team’s condition, except for a minor ankle sprain suffered by defender Nguyen Thi Nhu Quynh during the training session on the afternoon of February 20, all players are in good health and high spirits on the moving day. The team’s doctor mentioned that Nhu Quynh would need a few days of rest before she can resume training with the team.

For the travel itinerary to Uzbekistan, the Vietnam U20 Women’s National Team will transit in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) before continuing their flight directly to arrive in Tashkent on the evening of February 22 (local time).

At the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2024, the Vietnam team is placed in a ‘group of death’ with strong opponents including Japan, DPR Korea, and China. Although the competition chances of Coach Akira’s team are considered slim, this is a valuable opportunity for the Vietnam U20 Women’s players to compete, learn, and improve their individual skills before each upcoming match. For many players of the Vietnam U20 Women’s National Team, the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2024 will be their first major international tournament, so maintaining confidence, hope, and the desire to contribute and showcase their abilities is the most important thing.

Ngoc Minh Chuyen, the best young female player of 2023, shared: “After receiving the award for the Best Young Female Player of 2023, I feel excited to step into the new year 2024 with the determination to strive with the U20 Vietnam Women’s team at the upcoming AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup. Coach Akira Ijiri and the coaches have also encouraged the team a lot before entering the tournament. We believe we will show a lot at the tournament. Being in a difficult group with many strong teams is also an opportunity for the U20 Vietnam Women to compete and learn. As a forward, I always crave to score against strong teams at the AFC U20 Women’s Cup. The team is very excited to go to Uzbekistan to compete. This is the first time I have traveled to compete in such a cold, distant place. But it also brings excitement to the team when playing in snowy conditions. The team will have one week to get used to the climate. The coaching staff has also prepared clothes and food to help the players focus on competing”.

Coach Akira expressed confidence: “We will meet the U20 Japan Women’s team in the first match of the tournament on March 4. By then, the team will have reached 90-100% of expectations in many aspects. I know Uzbekistan is very cold at this time. So coming early to get used to the climate is also very good for the U20 Vietnam Women before entering the tournament. As you know, the opponents of the U20 Vietnam Women are very strong. What I hope is that through this tournament, the players will be trained in resilience and skill to grow.”

At the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2024, the Vietnam U20 Women’s National Team will face the Japan, DPR Korea, and China U20 Women’s teams on March 4, 7, and 10, respectively. The other group includes the U20 Women’s teams of South Korea, Australia, Chinese Taipei, and host Uzbekistan. The teams will compete in a single round-robin format; the top two teams from each group will advance to the Semi-finals.

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