TEHRAN (Tasnim) Iran national football team coach Carlos Queiroz did not hide his admiration for Vietnam, saying he found them even more impressive after watching their match against Iraq. - Sports news - Team Melli will face Vietnam on Saturday at Abu Dhabi's Al Nahyan Stadium.
'I had seen Vietnam's matches in the buildup to the tournament and I thought they were a good side but after watching their performance against Iraq, I have to say they are a very good side,' said Queiroz.
'They faced Iraq, one of the favorites to win the AFC Asian Cup, and for 90 minutes, Vietnam gave the match their all. They led twice and, despite football not being about being fair, I must say that they deserved, at least, a draw.
'I am not surprised as I know about the Vietnam head coach (Park Hang-seo). He is a good coach and he has good players.'
This, insisted Queiroz, is why Iran will not take Vietnam lightly.
'This is a team that has played 13 matches since October. They won the AFF Cup and this shows how seriously Vietnam are about doing well in the Asian Cup.
'Iran will never make the mistake of underestimating them because that is not how we are built.'
Queiroz explained that in his eight years with Team Melli, he had instilled values in the squad which were very dear to him.
'We are not an arrogant team and as the leader of my team, I always like to share fundamental values with my players. The foundation is always to respect teams.
'It doesn't matter who the opponents are as it is always the same value of respecting them.'
Iran, said Queiroz, will face Vietnam with the focus and drive that has made them what they are.
'We are going into this game with our normal attitude, which is to win. It will be the same approach Vietnam take and having watched them play against Iraq, we will start fully alert as we know they can hurt us.
'Having said that, it is our responsibility to qualify for the next round and that is exactly what we will try to do,' the Portuguese concluded.