“This is an important game for the Syrian team. I have only been here to coach this team for 4 months, so I am in the process of understanding the team philosophy and understanding the players I have at hand. At this gathering, I called many young players to assess the overall Syrian team force, and at the same time give the philosophy and tactics applied to the team. The focus is that the whole Syrian team must understand the way I play. When I first come to Vietnam, I would like to thank the Vietnam Football Federation, the fans and the organizers for a very warm welcome to the Syrian team. very good, especially the facilities and conditions to prepare for this match,” coach Hector Cuper of the Syrian team shared before the match with the Vietnamese team, which took place at 19:30 on June 20.
The Syrian team is ranked 90th on the FIFA rankings, 5 places higher than the Vietnamese team. Syrian football has been interrupted for many years for many reasons, however, the Middle Eastern team is still a difficult opponent to play in major tournaments.
Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, the Syrian team once finished third to win the play-off ticket, before losing to the Australian team. With Syrian football, this is an unexpected result. The Syrian team then again won tickets to the third qualifying round (topping the second qualifying group, ahead of the Chinese team) and although it could not play in the play-off like 4 years ago, Syria also played very resiliently, only minimal loss to leading Asian powers such as Korea and Iran. The approximately 50% win rate in the last two World Cup qualifiers shows that Syrian football is on the right track, after a long period of early elimination in the second qualifying round.
2022 witnessed the upheaval of the Syrian team with a series of 7 defeats in all competitions, including defeats against “equal” teams such as Oman and Iraq. Coach Hussam Al Sayed then left the chair to make way for Mr. Hector Cuper – one of the most seasoned strategists of Argentine football. With 30 years of coaching experience, spanning many continents such as Europe, Asia, America and Africa, Mr. Cuper is once again expected to help Syrian football break through. The 3-1 victory over Thailand in March is the affirmation of the team led by Coach Cuper.
Coach Hector Cuper affirmed: “Let’s wait for the tactics the Syrian team will use, because as I said, the Syrian team is not focused on winning or losing this friendly match, but wants to find other specific details more comprehensive. about the whole team. I am monitoring the player’s ability. Through the friendly match with the Vietnamese team, I will analyze the strengths and weaknesses and look to the future, with the goal of building the team according to the philosophy. I respect the Vietnamese team and hope the two teams have a good match, but I have a long-term goal, not just this match.”
Assessing the Vietnamese team and Mr. Philippe Troussier, Mr. Cuper said: “We have monitored and analyzed the last 2 or 3 matches of the Vietnamese team, but I focus on the Syrian team rather than the opponent. If this is the Asian or world qualifiers, this is a different story. I have only been here 4 months, so I need to better understand Syria in the future. The Vietnamese team has Hoang Duc, Que Ngoc Hai, and Van Toan. They play well, they are a strong team, improving year by year.”
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma shared: “I thank the Vietnam Football Federation for welcoming the Syrian team for training and friendly matches. As Coach Cuper mentioned, we are in the process of adapting to the new style. We will satisfy the coach’s requirements and fulfill the tactical requirements. We also have a dedicated team to help support the players to implement the coach’s strategy. My goal is like that.
The fact that Cristiano Ronaldo or any European superstar comes to Asia to play in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar will also help improve the quality of Asian players in terms of competitive psychology, level of competition, thereby promoting Asian football is more developed”.