Don't expect easy game against Vietnam: Iraq head coach

By Lam Thoa   November 20, 2023 | 01:28 am PT
Don't expect easy game against Vietnam: Iraq head coach
Iraq head coach Jesus Casas during a press conference in Hanoi on Nov. 20, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Iraq coach Jesus Casas expects difficulties in the upcoming World Cup qualifying game as hosts Vietnam have the same playing style and are great on the wings.

"The game promises to be interesting because both teams won in the first fixture. This is a very important match. Vietnam are tough to play against as they have a quality squad and a similar playing style as Iraq, which focuses on possession play," Casas said in a press conference in Hanoi on Monday.

Iraq are currently 68th on FIFA ranking, 26 places higher than Vietnam. They are considered the favorites to take the top spot in Group F.

In the opening match, Iraq showed their strength by thrashing Indonesia 5-1. Right after the match, Iraq got on a special flight to Hanoi and arrived even earlier than the Vietnam national football team, who won 2-0 against the Philippines.

"In the opening round, we had a bigger win than Vietnam and got more time to rest. But that does not guarantee victory. Of course, our goal will be all three points. But that is also Vietnam's goal, so we don't expect to have an easy 90 minutes against them," Casas said.

According to Casas, Iraq do not see the cold and dry weather in Hanoi as a problem. The biggest difficulty for them is the pressure from the home fans at My Dinh Stadium and the playing style of Vietnam.

"We have researched Vietnam and found that they play very well on the flanks and are quick to start the attacks from there. That may be the strongest and most dangerous aspect in Vietnam's playing style," Casas added.

Iraq have 10 players who are competing in Europe, including Slovacko FC defender Merchas Doski.

Doski said that when he plays away from home, he and his teammates always have special feelings when playing for the national team.

The tough defender said that Iraq's current playing style has not reached perfection, but he believed that Iraq would still come away from Vietnam with a positive result.

The match between Vietnam and Iraq will take place at 7 p.m. (Hanoi time) on Tuesday at My Dinh National Stadium. The game will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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