Iraq deserved the win, says Adnan

Abu Dhabi: Match-winner Ali Adnan has praised Iraq’s second half performance after they edged Vietnam 3-2 to begin their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 with a vital win on Tuesday.
With Vietnam to the fore, Iraq trailed 2-1 at half-time before substitute Humam Tareq fired home a 60th minute equaliser and Adnan’s last gasp free-kick sealed all three points for Srečko Katanec’s charges, who went second in Group D following their success.
“I think we deserved the win. It is a result of all the effort we put in during our preparations as well as during the match itself,” said Adnan, who currently plays his club football in Italy with Atalanta.
“In the first half we didn’t play well, partly because of the pressure we are under to produce good performances and get good results.
“However, In the second half the coach managed to ease the pressure, and the substitutes had a great impact on the team, so we were able to put in a good display. For the sake of our supporters, I now hope we can continue our winning ways.”
Next up for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup champions is an eagerly anticipated meeting with Yemen in Sharjah on Saturday — a game which Adnan believes could see Iraq seal their progress to the tournament’s knockout phase.
“We are playing at the strongest tournament in Asia, so you have to perform well against all the teams that are here,” the 25-year-old Baghdad native explained.
“Many people did not expect Vietnam to perform as well as they did against us, but they have proved how good they actually are. Yemen are a good team, but they lost their first match because of mistakes.
“I believe the match against them will be a good one, but I feel that we will qualify [for the Round of 16] after the match in Sharjah.”