The Vietnam War, 59 Years Later, Isn’t Really a Test for Anyone
The Europeans flew thousands of miles. The Asian Games team has been called up with no rest. The K-Ligers are just as tired as they are ready for the final round. The opponent of this ‘best of the best’ exhibition match is Vietnam. It has been 32 years since a Southeast Asian team was invited to Korea for an exhibition match. Questions about ‘who and for what’ have been raised from the beginning of the program.
Concerns about the futility of the exercise have been realized with the news of Vietnam’s defeat against China. Vietnam lost 0-2 to China in an exhibition match in Dalian, China, on April 10. Vietnam is ranked 95th in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and China is ranked 80th. Gone are the days of Park Hang-seo, who led Vietnam to a 2-3 loss to China on neutral territory and a 3-1 victory at home. The Vietnamese are now led by Philippe Trousier (FRA), who coached Japan at the 2002 World Cup in Korea-Japan.
He hasn’t rotated his squad for the game against South Korea. Do Hung Chung, Dang Van Lam, and Nguyen Van Thoane are all familiar faces in the starting lineup, but only three of them have less than five A-League matches under their belts, and the rest of the squad is made up of mainstays. Nevertheless, they head to South Korea with the same team that lost to China. An unofficial A match against Uzbekistan will be held on April 17 at the Suwon World Cup Stadium, followed by trials against South Korea and Vietnam.
It will be the first time since 1991 against Indonesia that a domestic A match will be played against a Southeast Asian team. It’s also been 59 years since the last time Korea played Vietnam in Hyochang in 1964. It’s clear why there hasn’t been an exhibition match against a Southeast Asian team in Korea for over 30 years. There was nothing to gain from taking one of the few opportunities to play a test match against a Southeast Asian team, let alone a top European team. This is the same reason why there was a lot of criticism when the news broke that Vietnam was going to play a test match, but the Korean Football Association (KFA) went ahead and confirmed it.
The KFA explained that it is not easy to find opponents in other continents such as Europe and South America because they have their own schedules. However, the neighboring Japan Football Association (JFA) has already organized an exhibition match with North and Central American powerhouse Canada. When Korea couldn’t even finalize its September opponents, the JFA moved quickly and finalized its schedule a month later. In a sign of the current state of the KFA’s administration, Canada’s October schedule includes only one game against Japan.
While the KFA has tried to make it sound like they are preparing for the World Cup qualifiers and Asian Cup starting next month, South Korea will have to continue to face the weaker teams in Asia, starting with the first game of the World Cup qualifiers in November against either Singapore (157th in FIFA rankings) or Guam (201st). It’s not like they’ll have to prepare for these games, as most of them will be close, and they’ll have to get used to the fact that they’ll be facing Asian teams even if they want to avoid them. This is why we haven’t had a domestic test against a Southeast Asian team in over 30 years, and why we’ve been playing against teams from other continents as much as possible. Furthermore, if a team is a powerhouse and gets swept by China, the meaning of an exhibition game is diminished.토토사이트
It’s hard to understand why Vietnam is playing an exhibition game against China, and to make matters worse, Jürgen Klinsmann (GER) is likely to field his best team against Vietnam. “There will be no rotation,” Klinsmann said, as the only way to find even a small amount of meaning is to use players who have not been given a chance. The same can be said for the Tunisia-Vietnam game, where he called up his best squad without a single new player.
This could be a welcome change of scenery for the coach, who has been under pressure to deliver results since taking over, with an ignominious five-match winless streak (three draws and two losses). That’s why some fans have said that the Vietnam War itself was pushed for Klinsmann’s victory. In fact, there is nothing to show for it other than a hollow victory. I feel sorry for the KFA for organizing such a test match and for Klinsmann, who is ready to put his best foot forward in such a test match.