Vietnam book ticket to 2018 Asian U-23 Cup

The Golden Stars qualify as one of the best runners-up

Vietnam's supporters are pictured during their game against South Korea in Ho Chi Minh City on July 23, 2017.

Vietnam have booked their place at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championships, Asia’s biggest competition for young footballers, despite a loss to South Korea in their final qualification game on Sunday.

The Golden Stars finished their qualifying campaign as Group I runners-up, progressing to the finals in China as one of the six best second-placed teams.

Vietnam began their qualification by beating Timor Leste 4-0 on July 19 and then trouncing Macau 8-1 on July 21, before losing 1-2 to South Korea on Sunday, with all games taking place in Ho Chi Minh City.

All teams used players under the age of 22 for the qualifiers.

Below is the full list of 16 teams who have qualified for the finals.

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The 2018 AFC U-23 Championship is scheduled to take place from January 9 to 27, 2018, with 16 teams drawn in four groups of four. The draw has not been announced yet.

The top two teams from each group will advance to knock-out quarterfinals.

The event in China will only be Vietnam’s second appearance at the AFC U-23 Championship.

The Vietnamese failed to make it beyond the group stage during their debut in the 2016 tournament in Qatar.

The AFC U-23 Championship is a biennial international age-restricted football championship held by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the men's under-23 national teams of Asia.

The first edition was initially set to be organized in 2013 and its qualification matches in 2012.

However, the finals were postponed until January 2014 because of the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup.

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