Vietnam coach Kim Sang-sik talks 'victory' before facing Iraq

By Hieu Luong   June 10, 2024 | 06:39 pm PT
Coach Kim Sang-sik confidently reiterated four times that Vietnam could beat Iraq during a press conference before the World Cup qualifiers game on Tuesday.

Kim said Vietnam's 3-2 victory over Philippines at Hanoi's My Dinh Stadium on June 6 helped Vietnam revive their chances of advancing to the third round.

He stated this with confidence even though the squad is about to clash with the group’s strongest team while suffering as the visitors against their home-field advantage and support of 65,000 Iraqi spectators at Basra Stadium.

"Vietnam come to Iraq with a bit of hope," coach Kim said on Monday. "We are strong and we are here to win."

Iraq have won all five games during the second qualifiers, secured first place in Group F and advanced to the third qualifiers.

Vietnam are third with one point behind Indonesia. Vietnam will have no chance to advance if Indonesia beat Philippines in their match at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

If Indonesia draw or lose, Vietnam will have the opportunity to slip through when they play Iraq at 1 a.m. on Wednesday (Hanoi time).

Coach Kim Sang-sik at the press conference before Vietnam play against Iraq in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on June 10. Photo by VnExpress/Doan Huynh

Coach Kim Sang-sik at the press conference before Vietnam play against Iraq in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on June 10, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Doan Huynh

Vietnam have never defeated Iraq in the past. In six encounters, Vietnam lost five and drew one, in 2015.

In their previous two games, Vietnam lost 0-1 to Iraq in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and 2-3 in the 2023 Asian Cup group stage, under coach Philippe Troussier.

"All I know is that we have prepared carefully and hope for victory," Kim said.

The South Korean coach said his players are trying their best to overcome difficulties and perform well. One of the challenges is the temperature in Iraq, which can reach 47 degrees Celsius during the day.

But this cannot stop his team's desire to win, Kim said.

An Iraqi reporter asked coach Kim how he felt when many foreigners had difficulty adapting to the weather in Iraq and he replied: "I want to win and return to Vietnam as soon as possible," which made people at the press conference laugh.

To Kim, Iraq are rich in physical strength and technique. The team not only plays effective possession football, but has also built their playing style around their striker Aymen Hussein, who has scored 26 for the national team.

Iraq coach Jesus Casas said his team also wants to beat Vietnam, even though they already advanced.

"This game is more important to Vietnam," Casas said in the press conference. "But Iraq’s goal is finishing the second qualifying round with victories in all games."

go to top