BANGKOK (AFP) - Iraq coach Jorvan Vieira hopes his team's famous win over diminished tournament favourites Australia at the Asian Cup may offer some temporary respite for people of the stricken country.
Thousands of Iraqis reportedly poured into Baghdad streets Friday, dancing, chanting and firing shots into the air in celebration after their euphoric victory over the higher-ranked Socceroos.
"There is one big reason for me to be happy, for they are going to take the guns and shoot them in the air and this is normal in Iraq when the national team win," Vieira said.
"It's much better than shooting someone else and maybe we have caused 90 minutes' peace and maybe we have two more days of peace while we are still in the tournament.
"This is the first step. We have our confidence but there is a long way to go. We have a right to dream but we must keep our feet on the ground. We have to be realists."
Iraq share the lead in Group A with Thailand and only require a draw against Gulf rivals Oman here on Monday to move into the quarter-finals.
Iraq's performances at the Asian Cup come against a backdrop of civil chaos in their homeland which has forced the national team to play their home games in neighbouring Jordan and train elsewere.
The result Friday was a significant achievement for the Iraqi team, who faced a side that reached the second round of last year's World Cup in Germany.
It was a credit to Vieira and his squad to finish over the top of Australia on such a disrupted tournament preparation and all the personal problems existing for the players and their families in Iraq.
"We were ready for this match but people sometimes don't believe that we prepared ourselves for what we achieved," Vieira said as Iraq kept on course to reach the knockout stage for the fourth successive Asian Cup.
"We wanted to win this game. We didn't come here to lose. The result is not a surprise for me because I know my players and I know their potential.
"Our strikers didn't give peace to the Australian defence. We all want peace in Iraq but the Iraqi players didn't give any peace to their defenders."
|11||Hawar Mulla Mohammed||60'|
|Coach: Jorvan Vieira|
for Salih Sadir 49'
for Haytham Kadhim 74'
for Younis Mahmoud 90+1'
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