Best way to say goodbye to Asian Cup is beating Iraq: coach Troussier

By Lam Thoa   January 23, 2024 | 02:40 am PT
Best way to say goodbye to Asian Cup is beating Iraq: coach Troussier
Coach Philippe Troussier at a press conference at the Asian Cup tournament in Qatar on Jan. 23, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Philippe Troussier said he hopes his players will play Iraq, their last game at the Asian Cup, with high spirit as they did in the last two matches.

Troussier took responsibility for the two defeats at the tournament but believed that Vietnam are still improving and on the right track.

The 2-4 defeat to Japan and 0-1 loss to Indonesia eliminated Vietnam from Asian Cup early. Troussier admitted that he was disappointed with this result and took responsibility for it.

The French coach said he and the team have had a lot of work in the last eight months and they are on the right track of improving.

"Before Vietnam Football Federation hired me, the national team have lost eight games at the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The federation wants me to create a team that can face top opponents in Asia, which is not easy. I have to select new players, who are fearless and dare to play possession football."

Troussier wants the team to keep their spirit high in the clash with Iraq as they did in the first two matches.

"We have two reasons to give our best tomorrow. Firstly, the team need to keep a high spirit and protect their honor. Secondly, I consider the game with Iraq a preparation for the next two games in the World Cup qualifiers against Indonesia in March," he said.

The 67-year-old coach is not pressured about the result against Iraq.

"The best way to say goodbye to the tournament is beating Iraq. But do not forget that Iraq used to win the Asian Cup and they are among the top teams of Asia. I believe Iraq can qualify for the 2026 World Cup and consider them as an example for Vietnam players to learn from. I hope the players will perform well, no matter what the result is," he said.

The match between Iraq and Vietnam will take place at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. (Hanoi time).

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