In the first game of the 2022 Dubai Cup on Wednesday night, Vietnam got a goalless draw with Iraq.
The U23 team, led by Park Hang-seo’s assistant Lee Young-jin, played in a match that lacked highlights, when Iraq didn’t attack with 100 percent of their power. The most relevant opportunity of the match belonged to Vietnam in the first half. Iraq didn’t create any significant scoring chance throughout the match.
Unlike coach Dinh The Nam’s setup at the AFF U23 Youth Championship that helped Vietnam claim the title, coach Lee made some changes to the formation with five defenders. But too much defense weakened the offense and Vietnam struggled to find a way into Iraq’s goal.
Le Van Do impressed with his pace at the right flank, when he created the most dangerous chance of the game. In the 18th minute, he sprinted down the flank and passed back to Tran Bao Toan to finish at close range. However, his shot was caught cleanly by Iraq keeper Hassan Ahmed.
The game could’ve gone into a different direction with a controversial play two minutes later when Iraq’s Muntadher Abdul had a kick straight on Phan Tuan Tai. The referee initially gave Abdul a red but after Iraq players reacted, he gave out a yellow instead.
Both teams kept playing defensively and no considerable chance was created in the remaining time and the game ended 0-0.
Vietnam will take two days off before playing Croatia on Saturday. They are the only European team in the tournament. Their squad mainly consist of U21 players.
Dubai Cup this year will feature 10 U23 teams: China, Croatia, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the UAE, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. The tournament will take place from March 23 to 29.
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