India can anticipate the following from the U-17 teams representing Japan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
In less than two days, India’s campaign in the AFC U-17 Asian Cup will begin, and the Blue Colts have already moved their base from the tranquil Khao Yai Sports Complex to the bustling streets of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok.
The Bibiano Fernandes-coached India U-17s are ready to compete in Group D of the AFC U-17 Asian Cup, where their opponents include Vietnam (June 17), Uzbekistan (June 20), and Japan (June 23). Despite facing formidable opposition, Bibiano’s youngsters appear up for the trials. As Group D’s opening kickoff approaches, we examine the three opponents and what they have to offer.
AFC U-17 opponents
Vietnam: A well-organized unit
Vikram Partap Singh’s penalty conversion in the 86th minute gave India the lead and the match against Vietnam in the tournament’s previous iteration in 2018, which ultimately helped them advance to the quarterfinals. It was pure joy for India.
The Golden Star Warriors are a well-organized team with a reputation for their quick tempo of play, technical skill, and inventiveness in evading opponents from the opposing team.
They are also known for being strong defensively; during their qualifying matches against Chinese Taipei (4-0), Nepal (5-0), and Thailand (3-0), they did not allow a single goal.
One of the important members of the Vietnam U-17 team is Captain Nguyen Cong Phuong, who occupies a crucial position in the park’s centre while sitting back to plan his team’s assaults.
Uzbekistan: The dependable adversaries
Known adversaries Strong AFC U-17 Asian Cup contenders include Uzbekistan. In Goa earlier this year, India played the Uzbekistan U-17s twice in friendly competition; they won the first game 2-0 and lost the second 0-3. Both countries’ U-16 teams previously competed against one another at Tashkent, Uzbekistan, during the AFC U-16 competition Qualifiers in 2019. That match ended 1-1, allowing India to go to the competition as the group winner.
The White Wolves had a successful qualifying run in 2017 and defeated Brunei 14-0 before defeating the formidable Republic of Korea 3-2 thanks to a last-second goal.
Lazizbek Mirzaev, the Uzbekistan U-17 team’s captain, is one of the players to keep an eye on as the offensive midfielder uses his skill and imagination to split up the defence of the opposition. Mirzaev, who already competes for Lokomotiv Tashkent’s senior team, is one of the most important players for Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan’s U-17 team won the Antalya Youth Cup earlier this year in Turkey after defeating opposition from Morocco (2-1), the Czech Republic (1-0), and Australia (2-1). They’ve played Yemen twice (5-1 and 2-0) and Malaysia once (3-2) prior to the U-17 Asian Cup.
Japan: Defending its honour
Current champions Japan has won the AFC U-17 Asian Cup (formerly known as the AFC U-16 Championship) three times. Making them the competition’s most successful squad.
In the AFC U-17 Asian Cup qualifiers, Japan won their group. And even managed to conclude the process without giving up any goals. The Yoshiro Moriyama-coached Samurai Blue have modified their strategy slightly for this game. Japan has recently demonstrated a tendency for quick transitions with two strikers playing up front. Despite the fact that they can still retain possession of the ball.
Japan competed in a tri-nation event in Algeria before to the AFC U-17 Asian Cup. Losing to the hosts (3-3) as well as Mali (3-1) and Comoros (6-1). They also participated in the Copa Joju last year, competing against Paraguay’s hosts, Chile (4-1), Colombia (0-1), and Chile (4-1).
Homare Tokuda, who was their leading scorer last season, is no longer on the club. Therefore Yutaka Michiwaki and Rento Takaoka, who had scored four and three goals, respectively, in Algeria, will be expected to carry the load.
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