Despite leading twice in their opening match of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Vietnam ultimately suffered a 3-2 loss at the hands of Iraq. Here is Football Tribe Vietnam’s Tran Tien on 5 things the Golden Dragons can learn from their devastating last-minute defeat.
Despite their victory, Iraq's center-backs had a poor game. Beside the own goal from Ali Faez, his defensive partners Ahmad Ibrahim and Frans Dhia Putros also made some silly mistakes, which allowed Vietnam to take the lead twice. The situation was made somewhat better when Bashar Resan came on to replace Dhia Putros.
Based on today's performance, it appears that Vietnam may miss Tran Dinh Trong, who could not play at this tournament due to injury. In his absence, the Golden Dragon's struggled to recreate the defensive solidity seen at the AFF Cup. The Vietnamese players could have done better for all three of Iraq's goals, showing that the team are not playing at their best.
Srečko Katanec has proven his talent as Iraq coach. He did a fantastic job on the sidelines, as all three of the players he introduced making a positive impact. His substitutions played a key role in the 3-2 win for Iraq.
After a long year with 3 major tournaments, coach Park Hang-Seo had concerns about the fitness of players at the Asian Cup. His fears were well-founded, with fatigue playing a heavy role last night's defeat. The defenders were unable to block Iraq's attacks in most situations. Furthermore, attackers Van Duc and Quang Hai lacked the necessary energy in this match.
Iraq faced more difficulty than they expected against Vietnam but finally, they were still able to secure all three points, with some magical moments from the big stars they brought to this tournament. The free kick goal of Atalanta's wing-back Ali Adnan may compete for the best goal of the tournament award.