HA NOI — The Viet Nam football team left for China this morning for a friendly match with the host in Wuhan City tomorrow.
Two days later they will meet Hong Kong in Mongkok, Hong Kong.
It is the 22-member team's first outing with new head coach Phan Thanh Hung, after 16 years under foreigners.
The friendlies are part of a plan to give Vietnamese players more experience in playing abroad. They will also help the national team prepare for the Southeast Asian Football Federation Cup later this year.
The team had only two weeks training for their match against a strong rival so football officials didn't expect a victory but hoped players would play a quality game.
"We did not set a target for the team from these two matches but they were asked to play to their best, to make a good impression for local fans as well as international friends," said Vuong Bich Thang, head of the Administration of Sports and Physical Training.
Coach Hung said he was pleased with his players' performance so far and was confident in good results from the coming matches.
"It is in the middle of the national tournament so my players are at their peak with fresh spirit," said Hung. "The friendlies are part of a long-term strategy."
The team will have two days to get familiar with the field and the climate. It will be their sixth clash with China, the visitors losing all previous games.
Viet Nam have had one draw and one loss against Hong Kong. — VNS