Afghanistan and Vietnam to battle it out in Tajikistan

Dushanbe in Tajikistan will host Afghanistan and Vietnam as both squads contest for a win to kick off their 3rd round AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaigns on a positive note.

Afghanistan (FIFA Ranking: 156 AFC: 28 as of 09 March 2017)

Afghanistan is coming into this game on a high as they beat Singapore in Qatar in a friendly match in preparation for the continuation of their AFC Asian Cup journey. Their 5 match undefeated run will also be at the back of their minds and that could serve as further motivation to come up with a win in their next match.

Vietnam (FIFA Ranking: 163 AFC: 22 as of 09 March 2017)

Vietnam will be searching for their first win after three games as they use this crucial AFC qualification fixture to bounce back to winning ways.

Historical Head to Head

Afghanistan 0 – 0 Vietnam (Draw: 0)

This will be the first time that the two national teams meet in an international football competition which will make the matchup all the more interesting.

Players to watch out for

Afghanistan:

  1. Faisal Shayesteh – An FC Twente youth academy product, the midfielder is the captain of the squad with a knack of scoring from direct free-kicks. Aside from his undeniable talent he will serve as the leader and motivator for his team.
  2. Ovays Azizi – The team’s goalkeeper who plies his trade in Danish club BK Avarta could turn out to be a tough man to beat between the posts as he helped keep Singapore’s late game attacks at bay in their recent friendly match.

Vietnam:

  1. Vũ Minh Tuấn – The Than Quang Ninh FC midfielder is capable of scoring when given the chance. Possessing pace and tenacity, he could spark his team in attack.
  2. Đinh Thanh Trung – A right midfielder/winger who is currently affiliated with Quảng Nam FC is the national team’s captain. Operating with pace, he is known as a supplier of chances and assists through his crosses and probing passes. He will be a critical contributor for Vietnam’s attack.

What to expect

Given the neutral venue and the attacking capabilities of both squads, the match could turn out to be an open game with plenty of chances. The only possible difference between the sides could be the approach, as Afghanistan might use their physical advantage to play more direct football while Vietnam will try to implement more of a passing style in creating opportunities and will attempt to dominate possession.

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