|Back in action: Midfielder Nguyen Tuan Anh will be included in the starting list for Hoang Anh Gia Lai in today's quarter-final against Ha Noi T&T. Photo newszing.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Hoang Anh Gia Lai will not have their best players to face powerhouse Ha Noi T&T in the quarter-final of the National Cup today.
National U23 striker Nguyen Van Toan injured his knee just a few days after returning from the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and needs time to recover, according to the team's doctors.
Midfielder Nguyen Phong Hong Duy will have to rest until the end of the season to allow his broken ankle to recover. Striker Le Hoang Thien suffers a sprain. Meanwhile, goalie Pham Van Tien has a neck vertebrae injury.
However, the good news is that their key players Nguyen Tuan Anh and Luong Xuan Truong, the national U23 midfielders, are ready for action.
Anh who had to go home some days before the SEA Games because of a thigh injury was tested 30 minutes in the 1/8 round match. He played a key role in helping his team set up their domination before beating People's Police.
Their foreign duo, Anzite Franklin and Sanogo Moussa, have also been named to play their second match for the two-time champions.
In their latest meet, Hoang Anh Gia Lai lost 3-4 to Ha Noi T&T at the Hang Day Stadium. The match saw defender Nguyen Hong Tien of the hosts stamping on the face of Hoang Anh Gia Lai's defender Le Van Son.
Right ahead of the quarter-final match, national midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet of Ha Noi T&T promised fair play with beautiful goals and performance from both sides.
Former V.League champions SHB Da Nang do not have many chances to win their crown back this season as they are closer to the bottom teams.
Winning the National Cup title is the only way to save them from an empty-handed season.
Today, a meet with Hai Phong on home turf will be an advantage for them as they will get a strong support from home fans. The visitors have won only one match since the beginning of the season.
Apart from two new foreigners, Yaikel Perez and Sean Fraser, on the front line, Da Nang, who played seven consecutive matches without a loss in V.League 1, will welcome back their U23 player Vo Huy Toan.
Fraser gave a perfect pass to Perez to score the only goal in Da Nang's 1-0 win over Thanh Hoa in the last round. Toan has been one of the best SEA Games scorers, with five goals in his bag, and promises to continue shooting in the coming game.
Dong Nai have been struggling at the V.League 1, but they have so far had a successful run in the National Cup as they went through the quarters without much difficulty.
Coach Tran Binh Su hopes that his new striker, Kisekka Henry, will continue to show off his high performance at a match against Dong Tam Long An.
Henry scored an opener in Dong Nai's 3-1 win over Can Tho in the 1/8 round last weekend.
"We will try our best to beat Dong Nai in the quarters. If we can do that, we will have the advantage of playing at home in the semi-finals," said Su. — VNS