Vietnam told Japan are beatable ahead of quarterfinal clash

Vietnam told Japan are beatable ahead of quarterfinal clash
Vietnam beat Jordan in a penalty shootout to reach the quarterfinals. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2019

Vietnam told Japan are beatable ahead of quarterfinal clash

Vietnam told Japan are beatable ahead of quarterfinal clash
  • Luong Xuan Truong wants side to show spirit against four-time champions.
  • Japan have looked far from their impressive best so far in the UAE.

LONDON: Luong Xuan Truong has told his Vietnam teammates to forget about reputations and make history against Japan today.
Truong and Co. have guided the Golden Dragons to beyond the first knockout stage for the first time in the side’s history, a run that was not predicted before the first match.
But thanks to battling performances in the groups stage and a penalty shootout win over Jordan in the second round Vietnam have booked themselves a clash against four-time champions Japan.
It is much most, once again, expect them to lose, but Truong is confident that if they take the spirt which has seen them through the tournament so far into the match in Dubai, then anything is possible.
“We are very happy right because we made another piece of history for Vietnamese football,” the midfielder said.
“(The game against Jordan) was amazing.
“I hope we can keep playing in the same way against (Japan), and hope we can make more history for Vietnam.”
Another reason for Vietnam to go into the match confident has been the fact Japan have looked far from their impressive best. But they have looked solid — not a word that should define one of the pre-tournament favorites — and Vietnam will need a bit of luck in front of goal.
Japan’s win over Saudi Arabia came as a result of a strong defensive performance from a team yet to find its fluency in attack under coach Hajjime Moriyasu.
If that continues and Vietnam can keep their shape then who knows, it could come down to penalties again. If that is that is the case then Truong will have his fingers crossed.
“I think we can’t say anything about a penalty shootout, because we never know, before a game, what’s going to happen,” he said.
“We were luckier than Jordan, and I think that’s all it is.”