|Go for goal: Vietnamese players seen during training on Tuesday. Viet Nam will play Iraq in a World Cup 2018 qualification match tonight in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese coach Toshyia Miura has called Iraq a stronger team than the hosts in a Group F match of the World Cup 2018 qualification round.
At a press conference yesterday in Ha Noi, the Japanese said Iraq were definitely at a higher level than Viet Nam as they were the former Asian champions.
In this group, they beat Chinese Taipei 5-1 and tied 2-2 with Thailand in an away game.
However, he confirmed that there were different elements in football that played roles in deciding who the winners were.
Miura, who made a final list of 23 players yesterday, said he and his assistants carefully analysed every member of the Iraq team and had suitable plans for each.
The coach said Ali Adnan of Iraq, who is competing in Italy, was the player to watch.
Moreover, Vietnamese players should keep an eye on Younus Mahmood and Ali Hisny Faisal.
Miura was excited with his chance to face a team from the Middle East and said it would be interesting if Viet Nam could grab a win as it would be bang in the Asian continent.
"It is not an easy task, but let us wait and see," he said.
Viet Nam Captain Le Cong Vinh also participated in the press conference.
"We watched Iraq playing Thailand and found that they were a much better team with almost no essential weaknesses. So, it is really difficult to say if we can beat them tomorrow," Vinh said.
"However, we will have to try hard every minute of the game," he added.
On the other side, coach Yahya Alwan of Iraq gave praise to Viet Nam's midfielders who, he said, were the keys to the squad, with their great speed and technique.
He said, Viet Nam have made a big jump compared to the team which lost 0-2 to Iraq at the Asian Cup in 2007. Viet Nam and Thailand are at same level and the leading teams in Southeast Asia at the moment.
However, Iraq still wants to take home three points, although it would not be a piece of cake.
Sharing his coach's opinion, Adnan plays for Serie A's Udinese said that Viet Nam were strong, but his teammates were also at their peak.
The match will kick-off at 7pm at the national My Dinh Stadium and will be aired live on television. — VNS