Iraq defeated Vietnam 1-0 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Iran on Tuesday to end the latter’s hope to advance to the next round of AFC group.
Vietnam’s coach Nguyen Huu Thang congratulated Iraq for securing Group F’s second position and advancing to the next round.
“We had tried hard. We would have a draw if the strikers are luckier with their attacks,” he said.
The PAS Ghavamin Stadium surface is not in good condition and affected the players’ skills but Vietnam had defended well, he said.
In first half’s extra time, midfielder Abdul-Raheem scored a goal for Iraq after his header hit the goal’s bar and bounced back to his position.
Thang said the referee was at a distance and apparently did not see two Iraq strikers hit goalkeeper Nguyen Manh at that time.
But Thang, who became Vietnam’s coach earlier this month, was happy with what his players performed in previous group matches, including a 4-1 win over Taiwan in his debut in Hanoi last week.
“We ended a great hope of getting through to the next round but we are proud of what we have done,” he said.
Finishing 3rd in Group F with 7 points, Vietnam secured a ticket to the Asian Cup’s final rounds in UAE in 2019.