Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vietnam's tough draw for final Olympic qualifiers

Vietnam, the first South East Asian nation to make it into the final round of the Asian Olympic qualifiers has been drawn against Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Teams in the final round will play a round robin home-away format from 22 August to 21 November for the final three Asian football slots in the Beijing Olympics 2008 in the following groups:

Group A: Iraq, DPR Korea, Lebanon, Australia
Group B: Korea Republic, Bahrain, Syria, Uzbekistan
Group C: Japan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Vietnam

Vietnam’s national coach Alfred Riedl said competition in any of the three groups is difficult and admitted to Thanh Nien newspaper that facing such strong teams will be a valuable chance for Vietnam to prepare for the South East Asian Games in December. Twelve of Vietnam's national squad competing in the AFC Asian Cup 2007 next month are U-23 Olympic representatives.

Match dates for AFC Final Round Qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympic

MD1 22 August 2007
MD2 8 September 2007
MD3 12 September 2007
MD4 17 October 2007
MD5 17 November 2007
MD6 21 November 2007

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