Vietnam, Iraq play dull draw in Dubai Cup U23 tournament

By Quang Dung, Hoang An   March 23, 2022 | 06:11 pm PT
Vietnam, Iraq play dull draw in Dubai Cup U23 tournament
U23 Vietnam (in red) play U23 Iraq at the Dubai Cup on March 23, 2022. Photo by Vietnam Football Federation
Vietnam and Iraq played out a dull goalless draw as they began their campaign in the 2022 Dubai Cup on Wednesday night.

The U23 team, managed by Park Hang-seo's assistant Lee Young-jin, made a defensive start to the event and Iraq matched them with similarly timid play.

Vietnam created the best opportunity of the match in the first half while their opponents did not manage a single solid scoring chance.

Unlike coach Dinh The Nam with his title winning team in the AFF U23 Youth Championship, Lee played with five defenders, and this weakened the offense and Vietnam struggled to find a way to the Iraqi goal.

Le Van Do impressed with his pace on the right flank, and created the one dangerous chance of the game. In the 18th minute he sprinted down the flank and crossed to Tran Bao Toan to finish from close range. But Toan's shot was caught cleanly by Iraqi keeper Hassan Ahmed.

The game could have gone in a different direction two minutes later when Muntadher Abdul kicked the ball straight at Phan Tuan Tai. The referee initially showed Abdul the red card, but changed it to a yellow after the Iraqis reacted.

Both teams kept playing defensively after that and the game ended 0-0.

Vietnam next play Croatia, the only European team in the tournament, on Saturday. Their squad consist mainly of U21 players.

The Dubai Cup features 10 teams, all U23, with China, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the UAE, and Uzbekistan being the others.

The tournament is being held from March 23 to 29.

Dubai Cup: U23 Vietnam 0-0 U23 Iraq

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