Iraq coach says winning against Vietnam was tiring

By Lam Thoa   November 21, 2023 | 07:11 am PT
Iraq coach says winning against Vietnam was tiring
Coach Jesus Casas speaks at the press conference after the World Cup qualifier between Vietnam and Iraq at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, Nov. 21, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Jesus Casas said Iraq faced too many difficulties playing Vietnam before winning with a goal in the last minute of their World Cup qualifier Tuesday night.

"This match was too fatiguing and unpredictable because both teams played with dedication. Iraq had some opportunities but could not take advantage of them, so they had to wait until the end of the match to score," Casas said at the post-match press conference.

At Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium, Iraq demonstrated their superior class by applying high pressure from the start. They created many opportunities, which however either lacked accuracy or were saved brilliantly by keeper Dang Van Lam.

When everyone watching the game expected both teams to leave with one point, Iraq scored in the sixth minute of extra time, with only seconds left.

Ibrahim Bayesh crossed from the right flank for Mohanad Ali to head it in past Van Lam.

Statistics from the match showed that Iraq had 56% possession and 16 shots.

Their hard-fought victory against Vietnam was a different story from how they thrashed Indonesia 5-1 in the opening game last week.

The Spanish coach said compared to Indonesia, Vietnam had a clearer playing style and were more difficult to play. "Vietnam were a strong team, they were loyal to the ball possession style of play and did very well in situations in the wings."

He praised his colleague Philippe Troussier for sending many young players into the field in the second half. "Vietnam have many quality young players, this is a good sign for you. When young players play in big matches like today, they will accumulate a lot of valuable experience for their future."

After two matches, Iraq are leading Group F in the second qualifying round of World Cup 2026 in Asia with six points, followed by Vietnam.

The top two teams in each group will continue to the third qualifying round.

2026 World Cup qualifiers: Vietnam 0-1 Iraq

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