Abu Dhabi: Middle East heavyweights Iraq will be taking on minnows Vietnam in the AFC Asian Cup Group D fixture at the Zayed Sport City Stadium on Tuesday. The action starts at 5.30pm.
“The first match in any tournament whether it be the Asian Cup, the World Cup or any other tournament, is very important for any team.
“I’m not thinking beyond the first game but of course we want to win every match we play. If you can win every game, you know what it means,” said Iraq manager Srecko Katanec in the pre-match press briefing.
Katanec is not new to this part of the world as he was the coach of UAE from 2009 to 2011 and is confident of his side doing well. “I know the line-up for tomorrow’s game and I’m fully confident of them. We have prepared well but if I have to be honest, you never know, because every game is a different story.
“We just need to give everything we have on the pitch. We will play a good game for sure but about the result, we never know. I am very confident about the team that they will do very well,” said the Slovenian.
Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo is well aware that he and his boys have their task cut out but was upbeat about his team rising up to the challenge.
“We are in a very tough group with Iraq, Iran and Yemen but that’s not surprising when we have to play at this level. Having said that, we have arrived here having done our part to prepare for a tough competition and I have a lot of faith and confidence on my players for good results,” said the Korean.