Vietnam ready for Asian Cup 2019 opener

Tuesday, 2019-01-08 11:18:24
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Vietnam’s coach Park Hang-seo has options to get the result against Iraq. (Photo: AFC)
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NDO – Facing a higher rated team in their opening match, Vietnam’s manager Park Hang-seo has confirmed that his team are ready to face all the pressure to earn the most favourable outcome in their Asian Cup 2019 opening match against Iraq tonight.

Against the strong rivals, who finished fourth in the previous Asian Cup four years ago, defending will certainly be a top priority for Park’s side, before even thinking about the attack.

In the goalkeeper position, with the top performances as shown at the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, it is obvious that Dang Van Lam will be the first choice in the wooden frame at this time. Supporting the goalie, Van Lam will be part of a three-player defensive line in the familiar 3-4-3 formation which saw the team crowned the AFF Cup champions in mid-December last year.

However, Dinh Trong's absence due to injury has forced Park to make adjustments. Most likely, Duy Manh will still play in his familiar position on the right, while captain Que Ngoc Hai will be pushed inside, and on the left will be Thanh Chung, who has been used a lot by the Korean tactician in the series of recent friendlies.

The Iraqi players are skillful and with better physique, therefore, the Vietnamese defenders are expected to have a very hard game. Coach Park is likely to direct his students to sit deep, playing counter-attack to wait for their opponents’ mistake. The midfielders will play an important role to share the load with the defensive work, and the most reasonable choice are two defensive midfielders Huy Hung and Hung Dung.

On the right wing, Trong Hoang will return after recovering from an injury, while the opposite wing belongs to young defender Van Hau, who had a flourishing AFF Cup campaign, proving his comprehensive defensive and attacking capabilities.

The national team are ready for their Group D opener against Iraq this evening. (Photo: VFF)

In Park's counter-attack tactic, the speed and technique of the midfielders and strikers will be very useful. On the right side of the front line will be the position of the AFF Cup’s most valuable player, Quang Hai, while the left is unlikely to have a better choice than Phan Van Duc.

For the sole spearhead position, in the hand of Park there are several options. After top striker Anh Duc left the squad, Tien Linh, Duc Chinh or Cong Phuong are the other considerable names, but it is likely that Cong Phuong will be chosen. The Nghe An striker from has recently been awarded the No. 10 shirt from former captain Van Quyet.

Vietnam’s opening match in the Asian Cup 2019 Group D against Iraq will take place at 17:30 (local time), 20:30 Vietnamese time, at Zayed Sports City stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Possible lineups:

Vietnam (3-4-3): Dang Van Lam; Que Ngoc Hai, Thanh Chung, Duy Manh; Huy Hung, Doan Van Hau, Trong Hoang, Hung Dung; Quang Hai, Cong Phuong, Phan Van Duc

Iraq (4-2-3-1): Jalal Hassan; Frans Dhia Putro, Ahmad Ibrahim, Ali Faez, Ali Adnan; Safaa Hadi, Osama Rashid, Ahmed Yasin, Bashar Resan, Hussein Ali; Mohanad Ali