Vietnam lose 2-3 to Iraq in AFC Asian Cup’s opener
Updated : Wednesday, January 09, 2019 10:27 AM (GMT+0700)

Vietnam lost 2-3 toIraq in their first match of Group D in the AFC Asian Cup 2019, which tookplace in Zayed Sport City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, onJanuary 8.

Vietnamese players celebrate their first goal - Photo: VNA

Vietnamese defender Nguyen Trong Hoang (Number 8) receivedthe match’s first yellow card just after the whistle for tacking Ali Adnan ofIraq.

In the 20th minute, midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai(Number 19) received a tap in from Nguyen Cong Phuong (Number 10) but it wenttoo strong he failed to take a volley.

Four minutes later, under pressure of Vietnam’s attacks,Iraqi defender Ali Faez Atia scored an own goal, opening the score for Vietnam.

However, Iraq equalised the score in the 35thminute through a goal of striker Muhanad Ali.

Cong Phuong restored the lead for the Southeast Asian team inthe 42nd with a tap-in after a rebound from Trong Hoang'sright-winged shot. 

The first half ended after three added minutes with Vietnamleading 2-1.

At the start of the second half, Do Duy Manh (Number 2)received a yellow card for trying to block an Iraqi player.

For the second time, Iraq levelled the score in the 59thminute with a goal by Humam Tariq.

Afterwards, Vietnam made two consecutive playersubstitutions. Ha Duc Chinh (Number 18) replaced Cong Phuong while Luong XuanTruong (Number 6) was subbed out for Nguyen Huy Hung (Number 7).

In the 72nd minute, Quang Hai made a shot outsidethe goal area but it was stopped by the Iraqi goalie.

Vietnam made their last player change 10 minutes later as Doan Van Hau (Number5) came on for the team and Phan Van Duc (Number 20) was taken off. 

Following a fault of Vietnamese defenders, Ali Adnan scoredwith a free kick  in the last official minute of the match, settling a 3-2lead for Iraq.

Approximately 1,000 Vietnamese fans travelled to Abu Dhabi tocheer for the team in red. 

Vietnam are world No 100, 12 steps lower than Iraq. This wasthe second time the Vietnamese team have played in the tournament compared toeight for the Iraqis.

Vietnam are pooled with Iran, Iraq and Yemen in Group D ofthe AFC Asian Cup 2019.

After playing Iraq, the team will face Asian heavyweightsIran on January 12 before wrapping up their group stage journey with a matchagainst Yemen on January 16.

In a recent interview with Tasnim News Agency of Iran, headcoach Park Hang-seo said the first goal of Vietnam – the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018champions – is to qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament.

Source: VNA

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