Vietnam’s football administrators are planning to test the competency of their Golden Stars ahead of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games by organizing an under-23 friendly match with class opponents Nigeria.
The friendly between Vietnam U23s and their Nigerian counterparts will take place in Hanoi, possibly at the end of September or in early October, Le Hoai Anh, general secretary of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), announced on Wednesday.
The match comes from a suggestion by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nigeria in Vietnam Francis Efeduma, who was only appointed to his new tenure in the Southeast Asian country earlier this week.
During a meeting with VFF chairman Le Khanh Hai on Monday, Ambassador Efeduma said he was impressed with Vietnamese football’s recent achievements and would love to watch a friendly between the two teams.
For his part, chairman Hai replied that VFF would work around the schedules of both sides to propose a day for the match.
Playing with the successors of the six-time FIFA World Cup players and one-time Olympic champions like Nigeria will be a precious experience for Vietnam U23s, especially in terms of preparation for the 2019 SEA Games set to take place in the Philippines this November, general secretary Anh emphasized.
To prepare for this 30th edition of the biennial multi-sport event involving participants from the current 11 countries in Southeast Asia, the young Vietnamese squad will go through a training camp in Hanoi, according to Anh.
Last Friday, Vietnam beat Myanmar 2-0 in another under-23 international friendly in the northern Vietnamese province of Phu Tho.
Nigeria took part in the finals of the FIFA World Cup in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, and 2018,
The Super Eagles won the gold medal of men’s football at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996.