Vietnam-Iraq friendly scheduled ahead of World Cup qualifier match

By Lam Thoa   January 31, 2020 | 06:30 pm PT
Vietnam-Iraq friendly scheduled ahead of World Cup qualifier match
Striker Nguyen Cong Phuong (in red) plays in the quarterfinal of the 2018 AFC U23 Championship between Vietnam and Iraq. Photo courtesy of the Asian Football Confederation.
An exhibition game with Iraq on March 26 will help Vietnam prepare for its World Cup 2022 qualifier match against Malaysia.

"The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and Iraq Football Association (IFA) have agreed to play the friendly on March 26. However, the venue for the match has not been decided yet because we are waiting to discuss this matter with coach Park Hang-seo," VFF General Secretary Le Hoai Anh said Friday.

The three possible locations for the game are My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, Thong Nhat Stadium in HCMC, and the Binh Duong Stadium in southern province of Binh Duong.

Vietnam last faced Iraq in the quarterfinals of the AFC U23 Championship 2018. They drew 3-3 after extra time and in the penalty shootout, Vietnam won 5-3 to proceed further in the tournament.

The game with Iraq is seen a chance for coach Park to fine tune his tactics and resources before selecting the official 23-men-squad to go to Malaysia on March 31.

Vietnam are currently leading group G of the World Cup 2022 second qualification round with 11 points, followed by Malaysia (nine), Thailand (eight), UAE (six) and Indonesia (zero).

After the Malaysia clash, Vietnam will get to play at home against Indonesia on June 4, and five days later, they will face UAE in their final group G game.

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