The article said Vietnam’s football has seen strong development with outstanding achievements, such as earning a ticket to the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time ever in 2017.

Vietnam is certainly an unknown in Group D, it said.

Vietnam is in Group D of the AFC event alongside Syria, Australia and the RoK.

The AFC website, in its article introducing the AFC U23 Championship contenders, highlighted achievements of Vietnam’s U23 team.

“Vietnam return to the AFC U23 Championship for the second tournament running after they made their competition debut two years ago in Qatar”, noted the article.

“Three defeats at the group stage and elimination without picking up a point do not tell the full story of a side that battled hard in Doha”.

“In last July’s qualifiers for the 2018 edition, Vietnam’s current generation impressed, comprehensively defeating Timor-Leste 4-0 before a resounding 8-1 victory over Macau (China)”.

“The biggest test of all was the final round of qualifiers against former finalists - the Republic of Korea (RoK) in front of 18,000 fans at Ho Chi Minh city’s Thong Nhat stadium, where Vietnam acquitted themselves well in a narrow 2-1 loss”.

The tournament kicked off on January 9th. Vietnam will first face the RoK on January 11th, then meet Australia on January 14th and Syria on January 17th./.