Vietnamese players train in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Today’s friendly match against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will be Vietnam’s final test before the upcoming Asian Cup tournament next month, said coach Park Hang-seo of Vietnam.

The Korean coach said at a press briefing in Hanoi on December 24 that he would make some changes to his tactics compared with his approach to the AFF Cup.

He said there would be some new formations to be used in the friendly, and that the Vietnamese side would try to avoid injuries.

"We will be missing the service of some key players in the Asian Cup,” said Park through an interpreter. “But it will be a chance for young players to show their talents. We will limit injuries and make it an interesting game for supporters."

The DPRK are a good team, he said, adding that it should be an attractive match.

Midfielders Nguyen Trong Hoang and Luc Xuan Hung are recovering from injuries. If they cannot play, Park said, he would recall Tran Dinh Trong, who was planning to fly to the Republic of Korea for a small surgery.

"Trong was in his peak at the AFF Cup,” said Park. “Despite his leg injury he still can play for the team and the surgery could be done later.”

Midfielder Luong Xuan Truong accompanied Park to the press conference. Truong was in the team that beat the DPRK by a score of 5-2 in a friendly two years ago.

He said he was not at his best recently but was trying to find his form and secure a place in the starting team at the Asian Cup.

"In that match we conceded the first goal, but it was a friendly so we were playing with an easy mind and won 5-2," he said.

The coming match will be a chance for him to win the coach’s support.

"I will spend more time to improve my abilities and hope to play well at the Cup,” Truong said. “We are determined when we play Asian rivals."

On the other side, DPRK coach Kim Yong Jun said Vietnam’s defenders and midfielders were sharp and strong.

"We just arrived in Vietnam and have only one practice session on the field,” said Kim. “The match against Vietnam – who just won the AFF Cup – will be a good test for my team. We aim for a berth in the Asian Cup’s quarter-finals.”

The DPRK are in Group E of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates with Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Qatar.

Kim has called up Ri Dong Jik, who is playing for Tokyo Verdy in Japan, and Pak Kwang Ryong of SKN St. Polten in Austria for the competition.

Vietnam, who just welcomed a new fitness coach, are in Group D with Iraq, Iran and Yemen.-VNS/VNA