AFC U23 Asian Cup to begin on Monday

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May 20,2024
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AFC U23 Asian Cup to begin on Monday

Doha: There will be no holding back when Indonesia open their AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 Group A campaign at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Monday.

Awaiting the tournament debutants are hosts Qatar, who are equally determined to go all the way after the senior team won the AFC Asian Cup title for the second consecutive time just weeks ago.

Qatar head coach Ilidio Vale said the immediate target for his side is to seal Olympic qualification, with three automatic spots available in the tournament.

The goal of this tournament is to qualify for the Olympics. It is good exposure to compete with the best teams in Asia, and I believe everyone should make the best of this time whether you’re a coach, player or administrator,” said the Portuguese.

"The Qatar Football Association has provided us with everything we need from infrastructure to equipment. We are fully prepared and will be competing hard in this group stage. We may not be favourites to win, but we will give our best in every match.

"I hope the win of Qatar’s senior national team will be a morale booster for the U23 team, but I want to reassure everyone that there is no pressure on our team. It’s a different competition, this AFC U23 Asian Cup is with different teams and objectives. However, I would like the U23 squad to achieve the same excellent results of their seniors.”

Indonesia head coach Shin Tae-yong expects a tough encounter but the former South Korea manager expects the Southeast Asian side to produce their best despite the absence of several key players.

"Qatar, Australia and Jordan are extremely competitive,” said Shin, who steered his native South Korea to the quarter-finals of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.”

"The AFC U23 Asian Cup is not in the FIFA calendar, so I can’t say that we have had the perfect preparation, but we have the mindset to improve, continue to develop ourselves and hopefully, we have a good performance.”

The tactician admitted Qatar, with home ground advantage, will start as favourites but was optimistic Indonesia can match their opponents based on their form in friendly matches against West Asian opponents