Hanoi: Park Hang-seo has cautioned Vietnam that making the leap from ASEAN dominance to challenging Asia's best won't be easy and it is a step that can only be achieved with long term plans.
Park has steered Vietnam to several successes since being appointed head coach in 2017, with the U23 team finishing runners-up in the 2018 AFC U23 Championship and the senior side winning the regional AFF Cup the same year, achieved after a 10-year wait.
That was followed by a quarter-final appearance in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and on Tuesday, Vietnam ended a 60-year wait for the regional SEA Games gold.
2014 Flashback: Perfect Iraq clinch inaugural title
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 is just a few weeks away as another year of football across the Continent will kick off with one of the most highly anticipated competitions, in which qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is also up for grabs.
Holders Uzbekistan will be looking to repeat their feat from China two years ago while Japan are aiming to return to the form that saw them lift the AFC U23 Championship trophy in Qatar in 2016.
But, after initially being scheduled to take place in mid-2013, the inaugural edition of one of the newest competition’s in the AFC calendar came in 2014 when – as the then AFC U-22 Championship – Iraq conquered all before them in a tournament that saw a number of Asia’s modern-day stars play key roles.
Vietnam end 60-year wait for men's gold, Myanmar deny Cambodia
Manila: Vietnam clinched their first SEA Games men's football gold medal since unification after beating Indonesia 3-0 in the 2019 final, while Myanmar edged Cambodia on penalties in the bronze play-off at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Tuesday.
Vietnam took a first half lead through Doan Van Hau before second half efforts by Do Hung Dung and Van Hau again sealed a historic win for the Golden Dragons, with the gold being their first since South Vietnam won in 1959.
Meanwhile, in the bronze play-off between Myanmar and Cambodia, the pulsating tie ended 2-2 after 90 minutes, with Cambodia captain Keo Sokpheng's spot-kick hitting the upright as Myanmar won the shoot-out 5-4.
Tokyo: Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu has set his sights on winning the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 next month as the Samurai Blue get set to embark on a historic year in which they will also play the Olympic Games on home soil.
The tournament kicks off on January 8 and will act as the qualifying campaign for the Tokyo Olympics, with the top three sides to book their tickets to the Games this summer, which will be the first to be staged in Asia since Beijing 2008.
But while Japan’s place is already secured as hosts, Moriyasu believes that the AFC U23 Championship provides the perfect platform for the future and one which could help fill his side with belief should they repeat their feat of 2016 by claiming the title.
Hanoi: Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo has called up 28 players for a training camp in Korea Republic ahead of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
The Golden Dragons, who returned home after clinching a historic gold medal in the recent 2019 SEA Games, will depart for Korea Republic on Friday.
Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai and goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung are just some of the familiar players named for the training camp, but Doan Van Hau - who plays for Netherlands' SC Heerenveen - will not be joining his compatriots due to club commitments.
Kuala Lumpur: With just 30 days to go until the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 kicks off, we reflect on some stand-out matches from the previous editions of the tournament and anticipate more exciting action to come in the next chapter in January.
The AFC U23 Championship, that began in 2014 as the AFC U-22 Championship, has been filled with fantastic fixtures and great games throughout the three editions of the tournament hosted so far in Oman, Qatar and China PR.
Here are five classics to enjoy and whet the appetite for the action to come at Thailand 2020.