|Hat trick: Midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet (white) fights for the ball during a qualifying match against Maziya Sports&Recreation during the match yesterday at Hang Day Stadium. — Photo thethaovanhoa.vn
HA NOI (VNS)— Ha Noi T&T opened the qualifying round of the Asian Football Federation Cup with an impressive 5-1 victory over Maziya Sports&Recreation of the Maldives yesterday afternoon.
During the first match of the Cup's Group F at Hang Day Stadium in the capital city, midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet made a hattrick.
Missing key players such as forward Gonzalo Marronkle, midfielder Nguyen Tien Dung, defenders Hoang Vu Samson and Sam Gallagher, T&T could not bring their strongest team to the home arena. However, the players performed well with great encouragement from local spectators.
At the 17th minute of the match, Quyet scored a goal, opening the 1-0 score for T&T to non-stop applause.
The guest team Maziya S&R seemed taller and stronger than Viet Nam but did not represent any threat to the host's goal. Until the 42nd minute, Maziya S&R could counter-attack to equalise the score.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, coach Phan Thanh Hung of T&T said he had researched his rivals on the Internet and found that they were worthy contenders.
"They do not have a modern playing style but the players are strong. We cannot underestimate them. However, playing on the home ground is our advantage and T&T are determined to take all three points," Hung said.
In the meanwhile, coach Ismail Mahfooz hoped that his team would not return home empty-handed.
"I just know that Ha Noi T&T is a strong team with very good foreign players. They may be the strongest team in the group, and they have the advantage of playing at home. So we've prepared very carefully for the game," Mahfooz was quoted as saying on the-afc.com.
During the second half, T&T's playing improved. Nevertheless, they could only score the second goal thanks to a decisive shot by Quyet in the 75th minute. The midfielder's goal kick-started a rain of scores for the Vietnamese team in the last moments of the match. Two minutes later, midfielder Nguyen Ngoc Duy made a goal, raising the score to 3-1.
At the 83rd minute, Quyet completed his hattrick with a third goal. Viet Nam wrapped up the match with a score by newly changed player Pham Van Thanh in the second-to-last minute.
Also in group F yesterday Arema of Indonesia drew Selangor from Malaysia 1-1.— VNS