Coach Kim believes in Vietnam’s ability to beat Iraq

Coach Kim Sang-sik believes his players can overcome powerful Iraq in the last Group F match of the 2026 World Cup qualification on June 12.

Vietnamese players undergo training in Basra (Photo: VFF)
Vietnamese players undergo training in Basra (Photo: VFF)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Coach Kim Sang-sik believes his players can overcome powerful Iraq in the last Group F match of the 2026 World Cup qualification on June 12.

Iraq have already qualified for the next round after their five wins. Vietnam are in third position with only two wins, one point less than second-placed Indonesia. The Philippines are at the bottom and ousted from the campaign.

Vietnam must beat Iraq while hoping the Philippines secure a victory against Indonesia so that they could advance to the next stage of the tournament.

The Vietnamese team arrived in Iraq on June 8 and had their first training session in Basra, on of the hottest places in the world with an average temperature of 45 degrees Celsius in the summer.

Speaking to his players, Kim said he knew they were still tired because of a match with the Philippines and a long-distance travel but insisted: "We came here hoping to win against Iraq.

"Our goal is clear, so I hope everyone will think positively and unite. I want the place to try to manage themselves on how to recover and be in the best shape when entering the match against Iraq.

"We know that the Iraqi team also has its difficulties. They are just like us, also tired. The team that prepares better and has the highest desire will win. I think we can create miracles."

The Vietnamese training session also lured the attention of local media and the Korean coach gave up his time for interviews.

He said Iraq had more advantage than Vietnam but his side would produce a good performance against the hosts.

“I know Iraqi people are big football fans," he said.

"We will certainly face great pressure from 65,000 spectators but we came here with great hopes of a victory. We will do our best to achieve the best results."

Skipper Do Hung Dung was also confident when questioned by local reporters.

“It will be very difficult for us to play in the heat here. Humidity is low and things are tough. However, we have four days to adjust and adapt to everything," Dung said.

"We know Iraq is a strong opponent, the top five in Asia. We will try our best to get good results against Iraq and await good news from the Philippines - Indonesia match."

The June 12 game will see Bui Hoang Viet Anh, who was sidelined last match due to his bookings, back in action. The defender's return is expected to strengthen Vietnam's defence.

“Iraq is very strong, we know that. The match will be very difficult. We will have to compete with the highest spirit, determination and concentration," said Viet Anh.

"Fans are very important to us at this time. Hopefully, we will continue to receive the support of the fans to be able to compete and achieve the best results in the upcoming match and the future,” he added./.


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