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Vietnam to face Thailand tomorrow in 2018 World Cup Asian qualifiers

Saturday, May 23, 2015, 11:32 GMT+7
Vietnam to face Thailand tomorrow in 2018 World Cup Asian qualifiers
Thai coach Kiatisak Senamuang in a training session with Thai players on May 22

Vietnam will take on host Thailand on May 24 in a match to start competition in Group F of the 2018 World Cup Asian qualifiers.

The match is predicted to be harsh for both sides of nearly equal level.

Thai coach Kiatisak Senamuang told Tuoi Tre that his players will stage an attacking formation on the Thai national stadium Rajamangala in Bangkok tomorrow to beat Vietnam to pocket all three points.

However, he admitted that it is a difficult job because Vietnam are a tough rival, especially when the team are led by Japanese coach Toshiya Miura.

Vietnam are strong in building solid defence for sharp counterattacks that can assault even stronger rivals, Kiatisak added.

To prepare for the tournament, both Vietnam and Thailand had friendly games with North Korea this month and Vietnam had a 1-1 tie while Thailand lost 0-1 to the team coming from the northeast of Asia.

The group F of the 2018 World Cup Asian qualifiers includes Iraq, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The format of the Asian qualifiers for 2018 World Cup

It includes four rounds.

The first round is for 12 bottom-ranked national teams, ranking from 35th to 46th places in Asia. Six winners will advance to the second round.

Vietnam ranks 19th place in Asia and only starts their World Cup campaign from the second round from May 24, 2015 to March 29, 2016.

Forty teams joining the second round are divided into eight groups of five to play home and away round robin matches. Eight group winners and four best second placed teams will be qualified for the third round.

Those 12 teams are then pooled into two groups of six in the third round. Two top teams from each group will win direct tickets to play the finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Two third placed teams may compete with other rivals from other continents in play-offs for the last tickets to the World Cup finals.

In addition, teams eliminated from the second round will go on to play the qualifiers for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Tuoi Tre

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