Vietnam draw with DPRK 1-1 in int’l friendly

Tuesday, 2018-12-25 21:54:35
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Tien Linh scores the solitary goal for Vietnam during the friendly match against the DPRK. (Photo: thethao247.vn)
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NDO – Forward Tien Linh was on target as Vietnam were held to a 1-1 draw by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in a friendly football match at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium on December 25.

The Becamex Binh Duong striker put Vietnam in front ten minutes into the second half, only to see his efforts cancelled out a few minutes before the final whistle thanks to DPRK captain Jong Il Gwan.

Coach Park Hang-seo maintained a number of players in Vietnam’s AFF Cup squad, including Cong Phuong, Xuan Truong and Van Hau, while testing some other faces, such as keeper Tuan Manh, defenders Thanh Chung and Tien Dung, midfielder Minh Vuong and forward Ngan Van Dai.

The “Golden Dragons” enjoyed the first opportunity after just three minutes, but Tien Linh failed to produce a shot following a favourable pass from Minh Vuong in the penalty area.

The guests successfully found the back of the net in the 24th minute as Jong Il Gwan took a through ball from a teammate and beat Vietnamese goalie Tuan Manh with an unstoppable strike; however, his goal was ruled offside by the referee.

Vietnam created a few chances to break the deadlock in the last 15 minutes of the first half, but they were squandered by Minh Vuong and Xuan Truong who produced shots over the crossbar and narrowly off post, respectively.

After half time, Park Hang-seo began to make change in terms of both lineup and tactics, as he put Duy Manh, Hung Dung, Que Ngoc Hai and Bui Tien Dung onto the field in replacement of Thanh Chung, Huy Hung, Van Hau and Tuan Manh (goalkeeper).

The opening goal arrived for the “Golden Dragons” ten minutes into the second half, as Cong Phuong chipped a through ball to Tien Linh who dashed into the box and finished off DPRK goalie Ri Myong Guk to secure the advantage for the home side.

Vietnamese players celebrate Tien Linh's opening goal. (Photo: vnexpress.net)

With time running out, Vietnam created a few more clear-cut chances to double their lead, but none of them were converted into a goal.

The waste of opportunities forced Park’s troops to pay deerly, as DPRK skipper Jong Il Gwan took advantage of the 82nd-minute freekick to equalise the score with an eye-catching curler towards the top corner.

The friendly match against the DPRK at My Dinh Stadium is one of two international friendlies of the Vietnamese squad ahead of their 2019 Asian Cup mission. The “Golden Dragons” will “reunite” with the Philippines team in the other friendly in Qatar on December 31, before commencing their continental campaign with the opening match against Iraq on January 8.

VAN TOAN