Asian Cup 2019 : Iran face surprising Vietnam

Group D Match Day 2

On match day two for group D Iran face a surprising Vietnam with a victory assuring a round two spot for Iran. Vietnam on the other hand is fighting for survival after their last minute defeat to Iraq.

On match day one Iran steam rolled over lowly Yemen scoring five unanswered goals. The big question for most experts was whether Iran could avoid the fate of some of the other heavy weights of Asian football. Australia had lost to Jordan in their first match. South Korea had struggled to get past the Philippines. Iran laid all concerns to rest when they professionally saw off Yemen with seventy one percent possession and twenty to three shots on advantage.

Vietnam faced the 2007 Asian champions Iraq in their first match. The scoreline was expected to reflect a similar outcome to the Iran –  Yemen match. Iraq was always seen as the team to challenge Iran for top spot in the group. Vietnam on the other hand had never performed at a high level football tournament. The Vietnamese were committed to earning respect.

Iraq had to come back twice from being behind and a last minute Iraqi free kick sealed the win for Iraq. A hard fought win by Iraq but Vietnamese football came out a winner having earned respect for their valiant effort.

Iran’s English Premier League star, Alireza Jahanbaksh, has also been deemed fit to play giving the team an extra boost. 

It should be a thrilling match leading into match day three. Vietnam has earned respect and Carlos Queiroz expressed that respect in the pre-game press conference. “I had seen Vietnam’s matches in the buildup to the tournament and I thought they were a good side but after watching their performance against Iraq, I have to say they are a very good side,” he said.

Kick off is at 3pm UAE time, 6am EST, 3am PST.