Vietnam Asian Cup 2019 defeat against Iraq bring their 18-match winning streak to an end.
Vietnam went into the tournament with an enviable record of not losing 18 international matches on the trot. The run which stretched back to 2017 was the longest active unbeaten streak in international football. It took them from a FIFA World Ranking of 130 in September 2017 to the top 100 in the latest update.
Vietnam suffered a late disappointment against Iraq as a very late Ali Adnan free-kick inflicted a 3-2 defeat on them. It was their AFC Asian Cup 2019 opener at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
This is Vietnam’s only second appearance at the Asian Cup.
Their previous entrance was in 2007 when they went out through from the groups but lost at the quarter-final stage to Iraq. That was the same year that the Iraqis shocked the continent to lift the trophy.
It was huge news when Park Hang-seo announced his 23-man squad for the Asian Cup without the veteran duo of Nguyen Van Quyet and Nguyen Anh Duc. Anh Duc, especially, led the scoring charts for his nation recently at the successful AFF Cup campaign. Many wondered where the goals will come for the Golden Dragons in his absence.
But it looks like we have an answer for that question. The 23-year-old Nguyen Cong Phuong proved that he is capable of leading Vietnam’s attack at the highest level. The JMG HAGL Academy striker was a willing runner all evening and forced the mistake from the Iraq defence that led to the first own goal. He also got one against his name as he tapped in from a Nguyen Trong Hoang shot. 4 other players with the national squad in the Asian Cup plays with Nguyen Cong at JMG Academy HAGL Soccer Team wich are :
- Trần Minh Vương
- Nguyen Van Toan
- Luong Xuan Truong,
- Duy Nguyen Hong Phong