Yemen dream of beating Iran in Asian Cup: coach

January 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Yemen national football team coach Jan Kocian says they can dream of victory over Iran in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup opener.

The Middle Eastern side, the lowest-ranked team in the competition at 135th in the world, begin their Group D campaign next Monday against Iran, the continent’s top team at 29th, at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

“The target now is not easy,” Kocian said. “We are debutants in Asian Cup and want to do our best. Normally, you want to win a game, but we can dream as a small country.”

"Yemen can dream of big victories against Iran and Iraq. It’s normal. It may not be real, but we will try. The target is we want to win,” he stated.

The vastly experienced Slovak, who took charge of Yemen in October, is not able to reside in Yemen given the political situation there. However, he has worked with his team at training camps in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, did see positives in the recent friendly defeats – both narrow – to Saudi and the UAE, thenational.ae reported.

 “I’m very happy to see people from Yemen in the UAE and Saudi,” Kocian said. “For people in Yemen the situation is very bad, for those who stay there the life is very hard. But maybe with victory we can give a good representation of them in the Asian Cup.”

“We have Iran, Iraq, Vietnam: all the teams are very strong. But we are good defensively and have good team spirit. I won’t tell you we will win, but we want to,” the Slovak concluded.

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