Coach Hoang Anh Tuan answers questions from reporters. (Photo: tuoitre.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam are ready to face defending champions Malaysia in its first match of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U18 Championship at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City on August 7.

“Vietnam won’t take it easy on our hometurf. We will try our best to enter the final,” said coach Hoang Anh Tuan at a press conference in HCM City on August 5.

Vietnam are in Group B which is considered the "group of death", including Australia and Thailand – two of the strongest sides in the tournament – as well as Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia.

“Vietnam have had more than one month to prepare for the event," said Tuan. "We met difficulties as my players were busy in the National Second Division Tournament and busy graduating from high school. However, now I am satisfied with how my team is prepared."

“For Vietnam, the result with Malaysia is not very important," he added. "We will focus on developing young players. But we will make every effort to have the best achievement.”

“We will play the first match with the hosts so we will play with all our hearts,” said coach Sentikhuma of Malaysia.

Afterwards, Vietnam will play Australia on August 9, Thailand on August 13 and Cambodia two days later. All the matches will be held at Thong Nhat Stadium in HCM City except for the match between Vietnam and Singapore, which will be played at Go Dau Stadium in neighbouring Binh Duong province.

Meanwhile, Group A matches will begin on August 6 with Indonesia taking on the Philippines; Laos playing Myanmar and Timor Leste meeting Brunei.

All the three matches of Group A will be held at the Go Dau Stadium in Binh Duong province.-VNA