Vietnam has been placed in Group A of the Suzuki Cup ASEAN Football Federation after a draw in Hanoi on August 5.

Co-host Vietnam will compete against the Philippines, Indonesia and the runners-up of the qualification round.

Group B consists of Thailand, Malaysia, defending champions and co-host Singapore and the winner of the qualification round.

The qualifying round will take place in mid-October in Laos with five participants – Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Timor Leste. The two best teams will advance to the finals.

The group's final round is scheduled a month later between November 22 and 29 in Hanoi and Singapore.

Teams will compete in the round robin format with two top-placed teams entering the semi-finals, which together with the final match, will be organised on the home and away field format from December 6 to 12.

Speaking after the draw, Vietnam's coach Toshiya Miura said although local media appeared optimistic about the outcome of the draw for his team, he himself thought that appearances could be deceptive.

"Vietnam, which was in the same situation two years ago, did not qualify in the last Suzuki Cup," he said adding that no one could predict the future.

In 2012, Vietnam had Thailand, Philippines and Myanmar in their group, but failed to make the knock-out round.

Teams in the region are on the same level, so each team is as tough as the other, Toshiya Miura said. However, Vietnam used to be the champions, so he had set a target to win again.

In the history of the biennial tournament which started in 1996, Singapore has been the most successful team with four titles in the bag. The Thais come second, taking the prestigious trophy in 1996, 2000 and 2002.

Vietnam and Malaysia have won one each, in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

The winners of the 2014 tournament will earn 200,000 USD. The runners-up will take home 75,000 USD, while the two third-placed teams will receive 50,000 USD each.

In preparation for the Cup, Vietnamese players will get together on August 22 for a friendly match against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea team on September 1 before taking part in a training course in Japan.-VNA