Deng named in Australian U-23 squad


Melbourne Victory’s Thomas Deng has been named in the Australian squad for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualification matches against Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, and Korea Republic.

A mix of Hyundai A-League-based players and eight professionals currently contracted abroad will convene in Southeast Asia next week as Australia prepares to compete in Group H of qualification from March 22 to 26. 

Following the week-long camp in Kuala Lumpur – which will include friendly fixtures against Malaysian Super League side Petaling Jaya City FC (14 March) and the Malaysian U-22 National Team (17 March) – Australia will shift its base to Phnom Penh where a first place finish in Group H would seal a place at the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship.

Australia would also qualify for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship should the squad finish as one of the four best second-placed teams in qualifying. The fifth-best second-placed team from the 11 groups will also qualify should Thailand – who have qualified automatically for the tournament as hosts – finish as either Group K winners or runners-up.

Hyundai A-League-based players in the squad will miss one round (22) as the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers are being held in a FIFA window.