Vietnam U23s lost 1-2 to their Bahraini peers in a behind-closed-doors training game in Thailand on Friday, right ahead of the 2020 AFC U23 Championship to kick off next week.

Vietnam slightly dominated the match with better possession and attacks but their ineffective defense cost them two goals.

Bahrain U23s scored the two goals in the first half and maintained the gap until the 75th minute, before Huynh Tan Sinh converted from a spot kick.

Vietnam’s head coach Park Hang Seo fielded all of his 25 men, except for goalie E Li, in this game closed to spectators.

Playmaker Nguyen Quang Hai wore the Vietnamese armband in the game.

Vietnam's playmaker Nguyen Quang Hai (second right) wears the armband in a training game against Bahrain U23s in Thailand, January 3, 2020. Photo: Nhat Doan / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s playmaker Nguyen Quang Hai (second right) wears the armband in a training game against Bahrain U23s in Thailand, January 3, 2020. Photo: Nhat Doan / Tuoi Tre

No players suffered injury in this friendly game.

Park will officially eliminate two players to make a final list of 23 men for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship.

This year’s tournament will last from January 8 to 26, featuring 16 teams from across Asia.

Vietnam are in Group D with Jordan, the UAE, and North Korea.  

They will clash with the UAE on January 10, Jordan on January 13, and North Korea on January 16.

The three games will be broadcast live on national TV channel VTV6.

The Vietnamese finished second in the 2018 edition after a  with Uzbekistan, where they lost 1-2 in extra time.  

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