Vietnam staged a comeback to beat Iraq 2-1 in a friendly game in the UAE on Monday night in their preparation for the play-off to win a ticket to the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.
The game took place behind closed doors and without media coverage.
According to Tran Anh Tu, a standing member of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), who is also head of the Vietnamese futsal delegation to the UAE, Iraq mainly defended and counterattacked in the first half.
Vietnam dominated the game and created a lot of chances.
However, a mistake in the Vietnamese defense line lent the Iraqis a chance to score the opening goal.
But before the end of the first half, Pham Duc Hoa managed to net the equalizer for Vietnam after several misses.
In the second half, although Iraq organized more attacks, Vietnam still controlled the game before raising the goal difference to 2-1 in the 35th minute, when Dac Huy headed home after Chau Doan Phat’s shot bounced off.
The score remained unchanged until the referee blew the whistle to end play.
The 2-1 victory uplifted the entire Vietnamese national men’s futsal team, according to Tu.
“The match against Iraq certainly helped the coaching staff learn a lot of experience and point out things they need to overcome before playing the official matches against Lebanon,” Tu said, referring to the two-legged play-off comprising two games at 10:00 pm on May 23 and May 25 (Vietnam time).
The goal of the Vietnamese national futsal team is to win a ticket to the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the second time, after the first one in 2016 in Colombia.
At the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, Vietnam not only unexpectedly made it to the finals, but also played jubilantly and reached the Round of 16.
The 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be held in Lithuania from September 12 to October 13 this year.
The quadrennial international futsal championship was originally scheduled to run from September 12 to October 4, 2020 as the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together with Lithuania who qualify automatically as hosts, 23 other teams from six separate continental competitions will compete in the final tournament.