Viet Nam will face minnows Chinese Macau in their first game of the World Cup 2014 Asia Zone qualifiers following yesterday's draw in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
HA NOI –
Macau are ranked 181st in the FIFA rankings. Their best result was a 3-2 win over Cambodia one month ago in Phnom Penh, with the contribution of several 'imported' players from Portugal.
Viet Nam, who are 134th in the rankings, are not expected to meet with any difficulties against Macau.
"It plays to our advantage that we face Macau in the first round because they are not very strong," said Viet Nam Football Federation's Deputy Chairman Pham Ngoc Vien.
"If we defeat Macau, we will meet Qatar in the second round. They are 90th in the world and have made good progress recently. But Viet Nam should always strive to play their best and set a target of winning against every team we play," Vien said.
National team members also shared Vien's point.
"We don't know much about Macau but I don't think that they will cause us any problems. Problems will come in the second round where we will play Qatar who are a strong team with experienced players," said midfielder Le Tan Tai.
Teammate Nguyen Phuoc Tu added that Macau were a weak team and it would be an easy game for Viet Nam. Qatar would be a tough game because of their dangerous forward line. "However, both sides share the same problem, in that our head coaches have resigned," Tu said.
Viet Nam have lost 0-4 twice and drawn 1-1 with Qatar in the past.
The first qualifier will be held over two legs, on June 29 and July 3, with the second round scheduled for July 23 and 28.
In other competitions, Viet Nam's U-23 team received a bye to the second round of Olympic qualifiers where they will play powerful Saudi Arabia on June 19 and 23.
"Saudi Arabia are an Asian powerhouse and they will create a lot of problems for us. Our players should not be nervous, but should just play their own game. Remember we surprised Asia four years ago by getting through to the third qualifying round," Vien said.
The draws for the 2012 Asian U16 and U19 football championships' qualifying round were also held on Wednesday.
In the U16 competition, Viet Nam have been drawn in Group F along with South Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Laos and Cambodia.
Meanwhile the U19 team have an easier task against Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and defending champions North Korea.
Both of Viet Nam's teams made it to the finals in 2010. – VNS