T&T prepare to face tough Thai opponents
|On the up: Ha Noi T&T players celebrate after scoring. They will play Muangthong United of Thailand in the second play-off round of the AFC Champions League tomorrow. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
HA NOI (VNS) — V-League winners Ha Noi T&T will play Thai rival Muangthong United today in the second playoff match of the Asian Football Confederation Champions League.
The match will be played at Thunder Dome Stadium in Nonthaburi Province.
The Vietnamese, who left for Thailand on Wednesday, had two days' training for the match, which will see the return of the former national goalkeeper Duong Hong Son who missed the first playoff because of injury.
The Thai Premier League's first runner-up is a powerful team as they have grabbed three domestic tournament titles in five seasons recently. They are home to the best players of the region, such as keeper Kawin Thamsatchanan, midfielder Datsakorn Thonglao and striker Teerasil Dangda, along with stars from South Korea.
Their coach Scott Cooper, who replaced Robbie Fowler, won the Thai League last year when he took charge of Buriam United.
Muangthong defeated several Vietnamese teams such as SHB Da Nang in 2009-10 and T&T a year later.
"Muangthong are a strong team especially when they play on the home turf. But T&T have prepared well and will play with all our power," said coach Phan Thanh Hung.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Quoc Hoi, chairman of the team, said: "The domestic V-League is important for T&T, but the team also appreciates the AFC Champions League. I do not care how strong they are. All players must try their best."
The squad, which aim to become the first Vietnamese team to reach the group stages of the continental club championship since 2008, will take home a bonus of VND1 billion (US$47,600) in cash if it wins.
The match will be aired live on the Star Sports channel from 7.30pm. — VNS