​Vietnam eager to take on Uzbekistan in AFC Futsal Championship quarters

The two countries challenged each other in association football last month, when the Golden Stars were defeated

Vietnam's futsal players pose for a photo after a game at the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Taiwan. Photo: AFC

The Vietnamese men’s futsal team are upbeat they can do what their association football peers failed to do at the AFC U23 championship in China last month, beating Uzbekistan, when they clash in Taiwan on Thursday.

Vietnam will face Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals of the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Xinzhuang Gymnasium, New Taipei at 6:00 pm (Vietnam time).

The Golden Stars advanced as Group A leaders, having lost to Malaysia before claiming two straight wins over Bahrain and hosts Taiwan in the group stage.

In association football, Vietnam secured their first-ever knockout berth at the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China in late January, before continuing their fairytale run to win the event’s second-place.

Vietnam lost 1-2 to Uzbekistan in a snowy final in China, so Vietnamese supporters now look to see the futsal team ‘take revenge’ in Thursday’s match.

After his team secured a quarterfinal berth at the futsal competition, Vietnam’s coach Miguel Rodrigo gave his men an entire day of break on Tuesday, with the players now all ready for the important game.

Vietnam (left) and Bahrain players fight for the ball during their match at the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Taiwan. Photo: AFC
Vietnam (left) and Bahrain players fight for the ball during their match at the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship in Taiwan. Photo: AFC

“I am playing the first-ever Asian competition in my career so being able to play with Uzbekistan is a great chance for me to sharpen my experience,” Vietnamese player Co Tri Kiet said.

“We know that our rivals are strong but we are all confident and are ready to cause a surprise in the match.”

Coach Rodrigo previously said that his men are “warriors” and will “play with the Vietnamese spirit” to beat the Uzbekistani champion favorites.

The 15th biennial AFC Futsal Championship is organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the men's national futsal teams of Asia. The reigning champions are Iran, who won 11 out of 14 tournaments held.

The tournament takes place between February 1 and 11 with a total of 16 teams participating in Taipei and New Taipei City.

Vietnam are making their fifth appearance, with the fourth place in the 2016 tournament being their best performance so far.

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