The Vietnam’s national futsal team are ready for the 2020 AFC Futsal Championship finals. (Photo vff.org.vn)
Head coach Pham Minh Giang has announced a 20-man squad for the tournament.
Key players in the Vietnamese futsal team's run to a third-place finish in the Futsal HDBank Championship Southeast Asia 2019 have made the squad, including Tran Van Vu, Pham Duc Hoa, Ton That Phi, Le Quoc Nam, Khong Dinh Hung, Vu Quc Hung and Ho Van Y.
The coach also called up young players Nguyen Van Hieu of Da Nang and Nguyen Huynh Thanh Huy of Cao Bang.
Hieu was top scorer of the National Futsal Championship 2018, while Huy has risen from his place in the Vietnam U20 futsal team.
Two key players Nguyen Minh Tri and Tran Thai Huy, who play for Y.S.C.C. Yokohama FS in the Japanese second division futsal league, will return to the national squad on January 15th.
The team convened in HCM City on January 6 and are training at the Thai Son Nam Gymnasium. They will leave for Spain on February 9th.
In Europe, they will have three friendly matches before heading to Turkmenistan on February 21st to compete in the 2020 AFC Futsal Championship finals.
The event will feature 16 teams from across the continent. Vietnam are in Group A with the hosts, Tajikistan and Oman.
The teams will compete in a round-robin format in the group stage to select the top two teams in each group to advance to the quarter-finals, in which the four winners will qualify for 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup, while four losers will enter fifth place play-offs to decide the last ticket for AFC members to the World Cup.
The Vietnamese team, who finished fourth in the 2016 tournament, aim to progress to the knockout stage and earn a slot among the top five teams to qualify for World Cup in Lithuania.
Vietnam will start their campaign with the opening match against Tajikistan on February 26th, before encountering Oman two days later and wrapping up the group stage against the hosts Turkmenistan on March 1st.
In the AFC Futsal Championship four years ago, Vietnam made a shock by beating Japan in the quarter-finals to earn a ticket to compete in the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2017. It was the first time in history a Vietnamese national football team secured a place at the World Cup./.