Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam came from behind to trounced North Korea 5-2 in a friendly match yesterday in HCM City.
The win was a big surprise, since Việt Nam, world No 141, are 13 steps lower than their rivals, who brought their best players, some of them having competed in Europe, to Thống Nhất Stadium.
Pak Kwang Ryong made a double for the visitors at the 15th and 53rd minutes of the games. The Vietnamese goals were then sandwiched in-between.
The visitors, who came to Việt Nam with cold faces, refused all media access and took part in a closed-door training session, set up their domination in the first minutes.
The Koreans needed five passes to break the Vietnamese defence. The ball was given to Pak, whose light tap-in defeated goalkeeper Trần Nguyên Mạnh to push his team ahead.
However, it seemed that it was not the North Korean’s peak day yesterday.
The hosts caught the pace of the game and leveled the result at the 32nd mark.
Receiving a ball from captain Lê Công Vinh, Nguyễn Tuấn Anh danced in the box against two Korean defenders, before he made a curving finish to the left corner of keeper Ri Myong Guk.
Vinh then lifted Việt Nam, who started the second half with rapid speed at the 51st.
Nguyễn Văn Toàn stole the ball from the Korean side and sent it to Vinh, who sprinted to the box and defeated Ri for the second time.
Pak brought the game to a tie score just one minute later. Jong In Gwan then heeled the ball to Pak, who was not being watched by any Vietnamese, to make an accurate finish.
However, that was all they could do this game, although both sides opened consecutive attacks for more goals.
Midfielder Lương Xuân Trường, who is playing for the South Korean Incheon United FC, made a smart pass to Vũ Văn Thanh, who chested and volleyed to the net. Truờng completed his perfect day with a goal for himself with a long banana-shaped finish from outside of the box at the 85th minute.
Midfielder Phạm Thành Lương, who took the captain band from Vinh, made Việt Nam fly high with the fifth goal in the additional time.
“They had a good game against North Korea. It was a wonderful match, not only because of the 5-2 result,” said Vietnamese coach Trương Việt Hoàng.
“They played better than we imagined, although there was a problem in the first 15 minutes. They are in different generations, but they completely understood each other and made up a great game,” he added.
It was the first time Việt Nam beat North Korea in their five matches. In their previous match last year, the two teams ended 1-1.
The win is a good start for coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng and his players, who are to take part in the ASEAN Football Federation Cup next month. — VNS