Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Park Hang-seo spent a lot of time guiding his players to follow his tactics ahead of the 2019 Asian Cup qualifier match today against Jordan in Amman City.
The South Korean coach worried that a mere two days’ training on away ground was not enough to prepare his team, more than half of whom are U23 players.
But after two days of training, he was pleased with what the players---the U23s, seniors and newcomers---showed on the field.
Jordan and Việt Nam have already qualified for the next stage of the tournament as they rank first and second, respectively, in Group C.
However, both teams, especially the hosts, want to win to improve their world ranking.
Hang-seo said this match had no decisive meaning for either team as they had both qualified for the next round, but as head coach of the team, it was his duty to ensure victory. And his players must reciprocate.
Coach Jamal Abu Abed of Jordan said every international match, be it friendly or official, was important. Recently, Jordan were World No. 117 and not in the list of Asia’s top 10. Việt Nam, meanwhile, were World No. 113. A win for Jordan, who are hosting Việt Nam, in the qualifier match today will help them retain their top spot in the group while pushing up their world ranking.
Abed, who took charge of Jordan when they defeated Việt Nam 3-1 at the Asian U23 Championship in Qatar in 2016, has asked his senior players to give their best to the match.
Before facing Việt Nam, who will present their best players today, Jordan defeated Kuwait 1-0 in a friendly match on March 21.
After the match, Jordan’s No. 1 striker Hamzah Al-Dardour suffered an ankle injury, which needs at least two weeks to recover. So, he will not be able to play today.
Striker Jonathan Tamini from Sweden has been called in as a substitute.
Apart from Al-Dardour, Yaseen Al Bakheet and Mohammad Aldumeiri were under medical supervision during practice. Their chances of playing today are unclear.
Hang-seo did not reveal how Việt Nam will play against the hosts, but Vietnamese football experts believe that the Southeast Asian team will follow the counter-attack style, which was adopted by the U23 team at the Asian Championship in January.
If Viet Nam win three points in today’s game, they will replace Jordan as the leading team of the group and enter the World’s Top 100 in April. The new ranking will place Việt Nam in group 2 of seeds at the Asian Cup and help them avoid powerful rivals.
In the first leg match at the Thống Nhất Stadium in HCM City last June, the two teams drew 0-0.
The second leg match at King Abdullah II Stadium will be aired at 10pm Hà Nội time today and will be telecast live on K+ channel. — VNS