Iraq players say they come to beat Vietnam

By Hieu Luong   November 20, 2023 | 08:33 pm PT
Iraq players say they come to beat Vietnam
Midfielder Osama Rashid reacts after scoring against Indonesia during a 2026 World Cup qualification match on Nov. 16, 2023. Photo by Iraq Football Association
Iraqi players said they respect Vietnam but they have set the goal of beating the hosts in Hanoi's My Dinh Stadium in their World Cup qualification match Tuesday night.

"The game will be difficult for sure, but we came here for three points," midfielder Osama Rashid told VnExpress before his team's training session in Hanoi Monday night.

Iraq, the strongest contender of Group F, are aiming for their second straight win in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. They thrashed Indonesia 5-1 at home on Thursday.

Midfielder Ibrahim Bayesh also expressed the determination to earn another victory for Iraq, but said his team need to be cautious.

"Vietnam are a leading team in Asia, they have grown remarkably the past years and will have home advantage," said the 23-year-old player who has played 45 games for the national team.

Striker Ali Al-Hamadi also said Iraq should not expect to defeat Vietnam the way they crushed Indonesia.

Al-Hamadi praised Vietnam's smart defense, but said his team can use their physical strength advantage.

Rashid started in the Indonesia game and scored the third goal for Iraq with a long shot from outside the box. Al-Hamadi was subbed in in the second half and secured the 5-1 victory with his 88th minute goal.

In Vietnam's four encounters with Iraq, they lost three and earned a 1-1 draw in another World Cup qualifier game at My Dinh Stadium in 2015.

The upcoming game will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Hanoi time) and will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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