Bangkok: Felix Sanchez has stressed the Qatar side he has brought to the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 should not be compared to the squad he led to the semi-finals of the last edition two years ago as the clock ticks towards his team’s clash with Syria in their Group B opener on Thursday.
Qatar finished in third place at the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China PR having missed out on a place at the Olympic Games two years earlier when they lost to Iraq in the third place play-off.
Continental glory and Olympics qualification up for grabs at Thailand 2020
Bangkok: Asia’s rising stars will look to clinch both Continental glory and qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games when the AFC U23 Championship begins in Thailand on Wednesday.
A total of 16 teams will look to succeed Uzbekistan following their 2-1 triumph over Vietnam two years ago and Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, has sent his best wishes to the Continent’s future stars.
Kuala Lumpur: The latest graduate from the vaunted Aspire Academy, the J.League's best young player and two West Asian starlets, Group B of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 boasts a quartet of talented tyros worth looking out for.
A group that involves four of Asia's biggest sides in Qatar, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Syria is set up to be one of the most intriguing, with some of the Continent's best next generation on display.
We have selected a player from each side who could be the stand-out.
Bangkok: Mukhtar Ali may be a new addition to the Saudi Arabia squad but the midfielder is determined to make an impact for the young Green Falcons in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
Ali was not part of the Saudi Arabia squad for the Qualifiers last March, with the West Asian side sealing a spot in the Finals as one of the best four second-placed teams.
Saudi Arabia are, however, mainstays in the AFC U23 Championship - having featured in all three previous editions - and Chelsea youth academy graduate Ali is excited to be part of their Thailand 2020 campaign.
Bangkok: Abdulghani Shahad is hoping history can repeat itself when the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 kicks off on Wednesday as he looks to guide Iraq to the Finals of the Olympic Games, just as he did four years ago in Qatar.
Shahad was at the helm as the Iraqis booked their place in Rio de Janeiro with a third place finish in the 2016 edition of the competition and he is setting his sights on a similar outcome ahead of his team’s Group A opener against Australia.
Bangkok: Head coach Akira Nishino has declared that Thailand aim to focus on playing their natural game when the host nation faces Bahrain in Group A of the AFC U23 Championship on Wednesday.
With matches against Australia and competition heavyweights Iraq also looming large, the Japanese tactician is therefore adamant that his charges must concentrate on doing what they do best if they are to stand any chance of advancing.