|Face-off: Binh Duong players will face Hai Phong in the National Super Cup on Saturday. — Photo hff.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Defending V-League champions Becamex Binh Duong hope they will lift the National Super Cup's trophy for the third time when they meet National Cup winners Hai Phong in Binh Duong's Go Dau Stadium on Saturday.
"We are confident but very careful. Hai Phong have a hard way of playing. It is not easy to beat them but we will try our best," said Cao Van Chong, general director of Binh Duong Football Jointstock Company.
Chong added that home turf was an advantage for Binh Duong to avenge their 0-2 loss to Hai Phong in the National Cup final in August.
According to Chong, Binh Duong will not have two key players, namely striker Le Cong Vinh and half-back Le Tan Tai. Vinh is busy with his wedding with singer Thuy Tien, while Tai hasn't recovered from an injury he sustained during the recent AFF Suzuki Cup.
However, the host side have other outstanding faces such as half-backs Nguyen Trong Hoang, Hoang Van Binh and striker Nguyen Anh Duc.
The team will also register two foreign footballers for the match, Oloya Moses and Abass Cheikh Dieng.
Meanwhile, Hai Phong moved to Binh Duong yesterday to prepare for the Cup. There aren't many veterans in their line-up.
Four FIFA-accredited referees will control the match, including Vo Quang Vinh, who won the Golden Whistle award following his outstanding performance in the V-League.
"They are good Vietnamese referees. The Super Cup is the opening match for the new football season so the referee group is especially important," said the National Referee Council's Nguyen Van Mui.
The Super Cup match has been held between the V-League champions and the National Cup winners every year since 1999, with 10 football clubs having been crowned. Song Lam Nghe An were the most successful, lifting the trophy four times (including three consecutive times from 2001 to 2003), followed by two-time winners Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Becamex Binh Duong.
The two teams will play a 90-minute match with no extra time or further rounds.
A penalty shootout will be held if the match ends in a draw. The winner will receive VND200 million (US$9,500) in cash, with the loser taking VND100 million ($4,750).
This year's Cup will be free to attend for fans, creating a strong atmosphere for the host side, who have previously taken the title on two occasions. It will also be broadcast live on VTV6.
Hoang to coach Hai Phong
Truong Viet Hoang will replace Dylan Kerr as the coach of the V-League side Hai Phong, the club's Chairman Tran Manh Hung announced.
Hung said that the Maltese-born English coach will end his one-year contract with Hai Phong at the end of this year, and that his club believes in the new young coach Hoang, who is a former national footballer and head coach of the Ha Noi Club.
"Many people are worried that Hoang is young, lacks experience and hasn't guided any V-League teams. However, I think that it is not a big issue. Under Hoang's guidance, Hai Phong will prepare well for the new season, especially to win the upcoming National Super Cup on December 27," Hung said.
"It is the first time that I will be taking Hai Phong to play in the V-League. There will be many difficulties ahead. But I will pass with the support of the club's leaders and fans. It is my new experience," 39-year-old Hoang said. — VNS