Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The coaches of Việt Nam’s U22 squad and a K League All Star team expect some high-quality football during their friendly at the Hà Nội’s Mỹ Đình Stadium later today.
The match is part of Việt Nam’s preparations for their Southeast Asia Games campaign, and a celebration of this year’s 25th anniversary of the relationship between Việt Nam and South Korea.
“It is not a competitive match where we must win. It is a friendly, but we will play a competitive game for football lovers,” said Nguyễn Hữu Thắng, coach of Việt Nam, at a press conference in Hà Nội.
“A chance to play against an experienced team from South Korea, whose football has reached a world-class level, will be an invaluable experience to my players,” added Thắng, who is impressed with the spirit and toughness of South Korea’s players, especially during the World Cup that they co-hosted in 2002.
The 45-year-old trainer stated that he wants Việt Nam to follow South Korea’s playing style in the future, and he hopes that more Vietnamese players will have the opportunity to compete for their country.
“I believe that apart from Lương Xuân Trường, we will have several others playing in South Korea in competitions. They will help to develop Vietnamese football,” he further added.
Trường is the first Vietnamese midfielder to play in the K League, on a one-year loan to Gangwon FC.
During today’s friendly match, he will have the opportunity to play against Korean players he has not yet faced in the K League, as well as his Gangwon FC teammates, Bum Seok and Lee Geun Ho.
Lee is captain of the K League All Star team and was voted the best Asian player in 2012. He was also a member of the Korean national team that played in the World Cup of 2014.
Hwang Sun-hong, coach of the K League All Star Squad, said that today’s game will be meaningful to the fans of both countries. The players of both teams are also excited about the game, which they hope will entertain their supporters.
Hwang, a member of the South Korean 2002 World Cup side, added, through an interpreter, that he respects Việt Nam’s well-organised playing style, and is impressed by several Vietnamese players. Therefore, he brought several veteran players to Hà Nội, with experience in many competitions, who can overcome the difficult playing conditions in Việt Nam.
The match will kick off at 8.00pm with tickets still available, costing VNĐ100,000, VNĐ150,000 and VNĐ200,000 (US$4.5, $6.7, $9).
Two days after the friendly, the Việt Nam squad will begin a 10-day training camp in South Korea, during which they will play two friendlies against Mokpo City FC and Busan FC.
They will then fly straight to Kuala Lumpur for the Southeast Asia Games, where Việt Nam will face East Timor in their first Group B match on 14th August. — VNS