Asian Cup 2019: Vietnam preparing a surprise for Iraq hinh anh 1Vietnamese players in a training session in Abu Dhabi on January 6 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) Vietnamese footballers are actively training in preparation for the match against Iraq on January 8, their first game at the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Talking to the press before the training session on January 6, midfielder Nguyen Van Toan said the whole squad is eager for the match, saying he hopes that they will have a good game and meet expectations.

He added that although Iraq is a strong team in Asia, Vietnamese players are still confident and looking forward to a successful match.

As this is the leading tournament of Asia, the team respects all of the rivals. Additionally, the players have a clear viewpoint that they must not be complacent about their achievements over the past year, but stay focused to get ready for the Asian Cup.

The midfielder hoped that the Asian Cup 2019 will be a successful tourney for himself as well as the whole Vietnamese team.

The match against Iraq will kick off at Zayed Sport City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, at 5:30pm (UAE time) on January 8.

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

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

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