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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

The continental football governing body on November 12 decided the dates for the Asian qualifiers, which also serve as the second round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification.

At a meeting of the AFC Competitions Committee, chaired by Dr. Tran Quoc Tuan, Standing Vice Chairman of Vietnam Football Federation, who is also the head of the AFC committee, AFC officials discussed plans to organise football tournaments in 2021, with the general prediction that it would be a difficult year due to the dense schedule arising from the COVID-19 pandemic being as of yet still not fully under control.

Accordingly, the AFC decided that the remaining matches in the Asian Qualifiers Round 2 should be completed by June 15, 2021 with Match Day 7 and 8 in March 2021 and Match Day 9 and 10 in June 2021, with the Final Round of the Qualifiers beginning in September 2021.

In the rescheduled campaign, coach Park Hang-seo’s side will resume their second qualifying round with their next away game in Malaysia on March 30, 2021, followed by a clash with visitors Indonesia at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium on June 7 next year.

Vietnam are sitting atop Group G in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round.

In their last match in the second round, Nguyen Quang Hai and his teammates will travel to the Middle East to play hosts UAE on June 15.

Sitting atop Group G with 11 points after five matches played, unbeaten Vietnam are looking likely to progress to the final qualifying round for the first time ever.

Right behind Vietnam are Malaysia (9 points), Thailand (8 points), UAE (6 points) and Indonesia who languish without any points to date.

Park’s players need to accumulate at least four points (one win, one draw) in their remaining three matches to advance to the final round, with the clash against Malaysia the most important, as if Vietnam beat this tough rival, their remaining matches will be significantly pressurised.

Also at the meeting, the AFC committee also agreed that the previously postponed AFC U19 Championship will be staged in Uzbekistan between March 3 to 20, 2021. In addition, the new schedule for the 2020 AFC U16 Championship will be from April 1 to 18 next year in Bahrain, while the 2020 AFC Futsal Championship will restart from March 23 to April 3, 2021.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News