|All tied up: Viet Nam's Mac Hong Quan (left) vies for a ball during a friendly match against North Korea yesterday in Ha Noi. Quan scores a goal in the 1-1 draw. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam dropped their win regrettably against North Korea in their international friendly match, which ended 1-1 yesterday at Ha Noi's My Dinh Stadium.
Substitute Mac Hong Quan opened the score for the hosts at the 63rd minute, while Hong Kum Song levelled it 20 minutes later.
Both teams opened their attacks to set up their early domination. But their strikers had not yet reached their best form.
The Korean who won a berth at the previous World Cup finals received three free kicks. One came close to the penalty box in the first 30 minutes, but they failed to convert it into a goal.
The host's side, meanwhile, could not break through the Korean defenders, who worked effectively throughout the game.
Coach Toshyia Miura made several changes in the second half and put Quan in the field at the 61st minute.
The striker who returned to play in Viet Nam from the Czech Republic needed only two minutes to find goalkeeper Ri Myong Guk's net with a straight shot to the right corner.
Kim Chan-bok also supported his team with four new players who really made a difference.
Defender Nguyen Huy Cuong, in an attempt to stop a ball, touched it with his hand in the penalty area. Referee Alongkorn Feemuechang decided to give the visitors a penalty.
Hong took charge, but Vietnamese keeper Tran Nguyen Manh successfully denied him the shot. But Hong's second shoot was too strong to block.
The friendly was the last test for Viet Nam ahead of their World Cup qualifier next week against Thailand.
The team will leave for Bangkok today. They'll have five days to familiarise themselves with the field and the weather. — VNS