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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Former Iraq boss Vieira marks 10th anniversary of Asian Cup triumph

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts break down Thailand's resilient 1-1 draw with the UAE in World Cup Qualifying.
Australia prevailed 3-2 against Saudi Arabia courtesy of Tom Rogic's second half stunner.
Former Iraq coach, Jorvan Vieira in 2007
Iraq won their one and only Asian Cup title under Brazilian Jorvan Vieira, third from right, in 2007.

On the 10th anniversary of Iraq's shock 2007 AFC Asian Cup triumph, then-coach Jorvan Vieira says tea drinking, and sleepless nights of checking on his players, were the keys to the football success of a war-torn nation.

Iraq stunned Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the final, having beaten South Korea on penalties in the semifinals, and Vietnam in the quarterfinals.

In the group stage, they upset Australia 3-1 and drew with co-hosts Thailand and Oman.

"The secret was not to sleep. Even early in the morning,...

 By Jason Dasey

Nelo Vingada: Malaysia players are 'fantastic', can still make Asian Cup

Jason Dasey talks with Malaysia U22 manager Ong Kim Swee following his side's return from China.
Jason Dasey speaks with Felda United's Dino Djulbic to discuss his expectations at his new club.
Malaysia national coach Nelo Vingada
Malaysia coach Nelo Vingada sits down for an exclusive interview with ESPN FC in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR -- New national coach Nelo Vingada says Malaysia are still capable of making the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, despite a disastrous start to their qualifying campaign in which they fell to a last-minute 2-1 home defeat against Lebanon.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC, Vingada refused to criticise his players, calling them "special and fantastic" and like his "sons".

And he compared Malaysia's collapse against Lebanon on June 13, when they conceded two goals in the last 15 minutes to blow...

India on right track, but mind the potholes

Sunil Chhetri: India's Batman without a Robin
Sunil Chhetri: India's Batman without a Robin.

Let's be honest, this Indian team has flaws.

The numbers are impressive but they don't tell the entire story. India have huffed, puffed, got the 'job done', but there are loopholes. Loopholes that, if not addressed, could fade the shining light. Based on the two Asian Cup qualifiers, both 1-0 wins, here are a few concerns Constantine would need to address before India take the pitch next against Macau on September 5.

The midfield

India's biggest weakness lies in midfield. In both games - Myanmar and...

While Chhetri scores winners, Gurpreet continues to lead India from the back

While Chhetri scored the winner, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made several crucial saves in India's 1-0 win over Kyrgyzstan.
While Chhetri scored the winner, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made several crucial saves in India's 1-0 win over Kyrgyzstan.

Sunil Chhetri was named Man of the Match against Kyrgyzstan for his winning goal in India's Asian Cup qualifier in Bengaluru on Tuesday night but an alternative candidate could have been goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, whose role was just as important.

A series of saves in India's 1-0 win was only the latest of Sandhu's strong international performances, a run that has coincided with India's rise up the rankings of world football to 100. Sandhu has started almost all the matches, conceding two goals...