|Shot stopper: North Korea goalkeeper Ri Myong Guk (right) tries to block a shot by Portugal's Hugo Almeida during the FIFA World Cup 2010. Ri and his team will play Viet Nam tomorrow in a friendly match in Ha Noi. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — North Korea who bring their strong squad to Ha Noi will be a strong test for Viet Nam ahead of coming tournaments.
The two sides will play a friendly match at My Dinh Stadium tomorrow.
Coach Kim Chang Bok arrived in Ha Noi on Thursday with experienced players who played hosts Viet Nam five years ago.
Goalkeeper Ri Myong Guk is one of the most experienced players; he played 15 matches for the national team at the World Cup qualifier in 2010. He and teammates then won their tickets to the final for the first time after 44 years.
Ri was voted the best Asian player in 2009.
Defender Jon Kwang Ik, midfielders Jang Song Hyok and So Hyon Uk are the other players to watch.
Jon has played many international competitions from the youth level to World Cup.
Jang was the one who scored the decisive goal to help his team beat Turkmenistan 2-1 in the final of AFC Challenge Cup 2012. Meanwhile, 23-year-old So is considered as a potential striker for North Korea.
Five of these 21 Korean players were part of the team that defeated Viet Nam 2-0 during the final match of the Viet Nam Football Federation Sonha Cup in 2010.
They have two days to practise and familiarize themselves with the stadium's field conditions as well as Ha Noi's hot weather.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam's coach Toshyia Miura is troubled by his players' injuries.
Some of his key players suffered injuries in recent days;it has forced the Japanese coach to call seven players from the U23 squad to fill the hole.
Miura said the combination of senior and young players will give good results although they will get only a short time to train together.
The friendly is the last match for Viet Nam before the team heads to play Thailand in the World Cup 2018's qualifier a week later.
A group of Thai referees has been invited to manage the game.
Main FIFA-certified referee Alongkorn Feemuechang will be assisted by Anuwat Feemuechang and Nathakorn Chimphalee.
Phung Dinh Dung of Viet Nam is the fourth referee.
Fans can buy tickets priced from VND50,000-200,000 at kiosks around My Dinh and Hang Day stadiums. The match will also be telecast live on VTV channels from 7pm. — VNS