We Have A Concrete Target To Win Title: Uzbekistan Coach


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) #AFC U23 ASIAN CUP The Peninsula

Doha: Title contenders Uzbekistan are eyeing a strong start as they will meet Malaysia in their opening Group D match at the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 today.

Ahead of the clash at Khalifa International Stadium, Uzbekistan coach Timur Kapadze said an opening win will put his team in good stead as they look to repeat their 2018 title-winning feat and seal a spot in the Paris Olympics 2024.

“We have a concrete target to win this tournament
,” said the former Uzbekistan midfielder.

“But the chance is also open to other teams. We have no injuries and we're ready for the tournament
.

“We have prepared for this tournament
for a long period, my players are ready and we want to achieve our target.

“Our opening match will be important. We are going for the win and we're confident but at the same time, we will be respectful of Malaysia,” he said.

Malaysia coach Juan Garrido

Malaysia, who qualified for the tournament
as one of the four best runners-up, are realistic about their chances with head coach Juan Garrido hoping that the opportunity to go up against a 'bigger' side like Uzbekistan will serve as motivation for his players to rise to the occasion.

“We're happy to be here,” said the former Granada CF academy manager.“Looking forward to improving our past results - having in mind that first we have to proudly represent our country.

“Our preparations have been good despite the short period. We're excited to face a team like Uzbekistan. The players want to play in this competition and it's motivating to have to go up against teams like Uzbekistan.”

Meanwhile, Vietnam and Kuwait will square off in other match of the group at Al Janoub Stadium.

Head coach Hoang Anh Tuan is expecting his side to deliver despite Vietnam having one of the youngest squads in the tournament
.

“Our squad is one of the youngest in the tournament
, and they are the future of Vietnam football,” said Hoang.

Kuwait head coach Emilio Peixe was equally excited with the opportunity for his young players to compete at a high level.

“We are very happy to have this opportunity to fight against these big teams, who have a lot of experience in this competition,” said Peixe.“So for us, it's a good opportunity to gain experience and develop our players.

“We've had a plan for over a year and a half now. This competition for the young players is to prepare them for the future. In football, everybody wants to win, so we will try to be competitive in all games, and do our best.”

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The Peninsula

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