The football tournaments at the 2019 SEA Games is set to kick off today in the Philippines, pitting Southeast Asia’s U23 sides against each other.
The eleven-team tournament is divided into one group of five and another of six, with a heavily condensed schedule that sees teams take to the pitch every other day.
Malaysia will be favorites to progress from Group A, while the Philippines and Myanmar are in position to join them in the fight for a spot in the semi-finals. Cambodia and Timor Leste complete the group and will be looking to spring some surprises against the more favored teams.
Vietnam and Thailand will continue their heated rivalry in Group B, as senior coaches Park Hang-Seo and Akira Nishino will face each other for the second time this month. They will be joined by a promising Indonesia side that has shone in recent youth tournaments and will be looking to repeat the feat once again. Singapore will also be looking to demonstrate their strengths, and will be accompanied by Laos and Brunei as well,
Monday sees hosts the Philippines take on Cambodia in Group A, along with Malaysia who face Myanmar. On the same day, Group B begins with Vietnam’s game against Brunei.
Elsewhere, the 6-team women’s tournament is set to start on Tuesday, with groups that closely mirror the men’s. Group A pits the Philippines against Malaysia and Myanmar, while Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam face off in Group G.