Vietnam keeper laments 'grim' last-minute 0-1 loss to Iraq

By Duc Dong   November 21, 2023 | 11:52 pm PT
Vietnam keeper laments 'grim' last-minute 0-1 loss to Iraq
Vietnamese Russian keeper during a game against Iraq in Hanoi, Nov. 21, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam, Vietnam's hero in their World Cup qualifier against Iraq, said he deeply regretted that his team lost to Iraq in the last minute, but believed they would come back stronger.

"It's so regretful that we conceded the goal with only seconds left," Lam said after the match at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi Tuesday night.

"We've tried our best, playing under very high pressure from Iraq. And because we have played with a high spirit, suffering a defeat in the last seconds was such a grim ending."

Vietnam faced many difficulties against a superior opponent. Iraq pressed high from the beginning, making it almost impossible for the hosts to launch any attacks, and causing them to make many mistakes in passing.

In the first 30 minutes, Iraq created at least three dangerous situations in front of Vietnam's goal, but Lam brilliantly saved the team from an early defeat.

The 30-year-old keeper made two more crucial saves in the second half.

But the turning point came in the 90+6 minute when Ibrahim Bayesh crossed from the right for Mohanad Ali to head the ball past Van Lam.

"The whole team will learn from our mistakes, we will stand up for the next games," Lam said. "We believe in coach Philippe Troussier’s lead and will come back our strongest in 2024."

He supported Troussier’s decision to sub in many young players during the game, saying that having the chance to play at high-level arena like the World Cup qualifiers will bring them valuable experience and help them mature.

The second World Cup qualification round will continue in March next year.

2026 World Cup qualifers: Vietnam 0-1 Iraq

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