2019 AFF U18 Championship kick-starts in Vietnam

Wednesday, 2019-08-07 10:09:45
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Indonesia U18s celebrate after scoring against the Philippines in their Group A opening match in Binh Duong, August 6, 2019. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U18 Championship - Next Media Cup 2019 officially kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong province on August 6 with the participation of 12 teams in the region.

>>> Vietnam ready to face Malaysia in AFF U18 Championship

The teams are competing in two groups, with hosts Vietnam in Group B, which is considered a “group of death” as it features several strong teams, namely defending champions Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore. Group A includes Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines and Timor-Leste.

On Tuesday afternoon, the tournament officially started with the first three matches of Group A in two stadiums in the southern province of Binh Duong.

In the opening match at 3.30 pm, Indonesia earned an impressive 7-1 victory over the Philippines. Later the same day, Myanmar defeated Laos with ease at 3-1, while Timor-Leste also made a big surprise as they trounced Brunei 7-2.

Timor-Leste (red shirts) demolish Brunei 7-2 in their opening match on August 6, 2019. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

On Wednesday afternoon, Group B’s first matches will take place at Thong Nhat and Thanh Long Stadiums in Ho Chi Minh City. Hosts Vietnam will kick-start their campaign with their opening match against defending champions Malaysia at Thong Nhat Stadium at 7.30 pm. Earlier in the day, Thailand will play Singapore while Cambodia will face Australia.

To prepare for the tournament on the home turf, Vietnam U18s under coach Hoang Anh Tuan had an 11-day training tour in Japan, gaining a draw, a win and a loss with a narrow score in three friendly matches against student teams from Kanagawa, Sanno and Nihon Kougakuin Universities.

In the group stage, after the opening match with Malaysia U18s, the hosts will meet Australia U18s on August 9, Singapore U18s on August 11, Thailand U18s on August 13 and Cambodia U18s on August 15.

The top two teams after the group stage will progress to the semis, with both matches taking place at Go Dau Stadium in Binh Duong on August 17. The third-place playoff match and the final are scheduled for Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City on August 19.

All the tournament’s 34 matches are broadcast live to the 12 countries with participating teams and all matches are being opened free of charge for fans.