The 2023 AFC Asian Cup is scheduled to be held in Qatar from January 12, 2024, to February 12, 2024.
Vietnam has been placed in Group D along with Japan, Indonesia, and Iraq, while Kyrgyzstan is in Group F with Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Oman.
In preparation for the tournament, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has secured approval from the Kyrgyzstan Football Union for a friendly match between the two national teams.
Despite being ranked 98th globally, which is four places lower than Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan is seen as a quality opponent for coach Philippe Troussier to fine-tune his Vietnamese players’ preparations.
The friendly match is set to take place on January 9, 2024, in Qatar, the same location as the 2023 AFC Asian Cup finals.
The Vietnamese team will assemble on December 28 in Hanoi, after Round 8 of the 2023-24 top-tier V.League 1, as part of the preparation timeline.
Coach Troussier is expected to call up 35 players for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup campaign, including Filip Nguyen, a goalkeeper with newly-granted Vietnamese citizenship who is eligible to play for the national team.
“The Vietnamese team will depart for Qatar on January 5 before the friendly match with Kyrgyzstan,” said VFF general secretary Duong Nghiep Khoi.
“This provides a valuable opportunity for both teams to finalize their line-ups before entering the tournament.”
It is noteworthy that previous encounters between Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan have been limited to the U23 level.
In a match during the Doha Cup 2023 friendly tournament, Vietnam U23s, led by Troussier at the time, suffered a 4-5 defeat in a penalty shootout following a goalless draw in the official 90 minutes.