Preview MD2 – Group D: Jordan vs Vietnam
Buriram: Jordan head coach Ahmed Abu Ismael is expecting an attacking affair when his team takes on Vietnam on Matchday Two of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Group D encounter at the Buriram Stadium on Monday.
Jordan got their campaign underway with a 2-1 victory over DPR Korea on Friday, thanks to strikes from Mohammed Bani Atieh and Omar Hani. Meanwhile, Vietnam were held to a goalless draw by the UAE on the same day.
“We always see that the first match of a tournament is difficult for any team,” said Abu Ismael. “I expect that teams will move to second gear as they adapt better to the weather and the pitch. I believe matches will be less defensive going forward.
“I watched Vietnam and can see they were organised at the back and focused on playing from wide areas into the box because their players are good in the air. They are a strong team, but we are determined to do well.”
On Friday, Bani Atieh had put Jordan in the lead from the penalty spot early on, before his cross in the second half was put into the net by Omar Hani after the initial Ali Olwan header bounced off the crossbar. DPR Korea pulled one back through Ryang Hyon-ju, but it was too little, too late.
Vietnam and Jordan had faced-up in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Round of 16, with the Vietnamese advancing on penalties. But while there were not many members of the current Jordan U23 side present that day, Vietnam boss Park Hang-seo was in charge of the group that featured the likes of Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyen Tien Linh.
Park was adamant his players needed to kick-on from their scoreless opener against the UAE and believes quicker transitional play is crucial for them to develop.
“We collected a point from a difficult first game, which is fine. But now the challenge for us is to be sharper, work on our transition from attack to defence and vice-versa.”
“We have to make certain tweaks to our tactics based on the opponents and the requirements of the match, but in terms of effort, I was happy with the way the players performed in the first match. They gave it their all.”
Jordan vs Vietnam
Venue: Buriram Stadium (Buriram)
Kick-off: 20:15 (UTC +7)