With the draw for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Vietnam will now have to beat two former champions Iran and Iraq, as well as Yemen for a top-two finish and qualifying automatically for the knockout round.
Being slotted in a group with all three West Asian opponents, Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo still expresses his confidence in the chance of his side at the 2019 Asian Cup.
“We are drawn in the same group with Iran, who are one of the strongest teams in Asia. Iraq and Yemen are tough, too. But Vietnamese players have a lot of experience in playing against West Asian teams,” Park said, as quoted by Bongdaplus.
Park has been acquainted with West Asian opponents since being taking charge of the Golden Stars. He led Vietnam U-23 national team at this year’s AFC U-23 Championship tournament, where his side earned a draw with Syria in the group stage, followed by two victories ar the penalty shootout over Iraq and Qatar in quarter-final and semi-final.
At the senior team level, the Korean tactician and his team held table-toppers Jordan at the final game of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification.
Vietnam will kick off their 2019 Asian Cup campaign with the opening game against Iraq on January 8, 2019, following by clash against Iran on January 12 and Yemen three days later.