Far from perfect, but job done: Vietnam’s Park looks ahead to Uzbekistan 2022
Bishkek: Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo was pleased to have sealed a place at AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 despite an imperfect performance against Myanmar at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Wednesday.
The 2018 finalists ultimately got the win they needed thanks to Ho Thanh Minh’s 59th-minute header, but there were few moments of relief in a regional battle that went right to the wire.
Following last Thursday’s equally hard-fought 1-0 win over Chinese Taipei, it was the second of two testing encounters in Vietnam’s path to the Finals, but while Park knows his side is capable of more, he revealed his relief that the objective of qualifying had been achieved.
Kuala Lumpur: The champions of the previous four editions, the runners-up from 2018 and 2020 plus three sides who have finished third in the AFC U23 Asian Cup will be among the 16 teams battling for honours in Uzbekistan 2022.
The cast was finalised following the conclusion of Groups D and I on Tuesday and fans are in for a treat next June with the cream of Asia's rising stars to feature in the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022
As the countdown begins, join the-AFC.com as we take a look at the 16 teams who will be vying for the title
Qualifiers - Group I: Vietnam edge Myanmar to make Finals
Bishkek: Vietnam qualified for the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 as Group I winners, eliminating Myanmar with a 1-0 win at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Tuesday.
A 59th-minute header from half time substitute Ho Thanh Minh was enough to settle the group in Vietnam’s favour, while Saudi Arabia’s 3-0 victory in a simultaneous match in Group D meant Myanmar narrowly missed out on reaching Uzbekistan 2022 as one of the four best second-placed teams.
The result also had a major impact on Tajikistan’s campaign, with the Central Asian nation claiming the final best runners-up spot as a direct consequence of Myanmar’s defeat.
Kuala Lumpur: The cast for the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 was finalised on Tuesday with the conclusion of Groups D and I.
Vietnam emerged Group I winners after a 1-0 win over Myanmar while Saudi Arabia advanced as the second of the best four runners-up following their 3-0 victory over Bangladesh in Group D.
Thailand (Group J) advanced as the best of the runners-up with Turkmenistan (Group F) third. Tajikistan took the fourth spot by the narrowest of margins, edging Bahrain on yellow cards.
Teams that had already booked their spot in the 16-team Finals as group winners were Qatar (Group A), Islamic Republic of Iran (Group B), Iraq (Group C), Kuwait (Group D), United Arab Emirates (Group E), Jordan (Group F), Australia (Group G), defending champions Korea Republic (Group H), Malaysia (Group J) and Japan (Group K) along with hosts Uzbekistan.
Qualifiers - Group B: Sensational Salmani sends IR Iran to Finals
Dushanbe: Islamic Republic of Iran qualified as group winners, while Tajikistan face a nervous wait to learn their fate after Group B of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 qualifiers concluded on Sunday.
Team Melli Omid ran out 3-2 winners in the final, group-deciding clash against Tajikistan to book their place, leaving the group hosts as potential qualifiers as one of the best placed runners-up, while Lebanon defeated Nepal 4-0 in the earlier match.
Qualifiers - Group J: Malaysia through after Thailand stalemate
Ulaanbaatar: Malaysia secured top spot in Group J after playing out a 0-0 draw against Thailand, while Laos edged Mongolia 3-2 in their AFC U23 Asian Cup 2022 Qualifiers ties at the MFF Stadium on Sunday.
Malaysia finished on seven points, two ahead of Thailand who will now have to wait to see whether they will advance as one of the best four runners-up, while Laos finished third.
Qualifiers - Group E: UAE advance with victory over Oman
Al Fujairah: United Arab Emirates advanced to the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 Finals with a 2-0 win over Oman to finish top of Group E on Saturday.
The win took UAE to six points and their place in Uzbekistan 2022 was confirmed after India and Kyrgyz Republic played to a 0-0 draw in the group's final match, leaving both teams on four points. India subsequently took second place after winning a penalty shoot-out as the tiebreakers could not separate the two sides.
Three points for Kyrgyz Republic would have seen the Central Asian side top the group, having defeated UAE 2-1 on Matchday One