Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội T&T aim to take home the National Cup trophy following today’s quarter-finals against Nam Định on away ground at the Thiên Trường Stadium.
In the previous round, Hà Nội T&T, whose best result at the Cup was a second place finish in 2012 and 2015, defeated FLC Thanh Hóa 1-0 to become one of final eight teams.
As their rivals are considered the weakest of all the participants, Hà Nội T&T are said to have the easiest job today.
Hà Nội T&T are currently No. 7 in the national premier league, the V. League, and many of their players are members of national teams, such as midfielders Phạm Thành Lương, Nguyễn Văn Quyết and Đỗ Duy Mạnh. Their ranks also include qualified foreigners Gonzalo Damian Marronkle, Hoàng Vũ Samson and Arnaud Loris.
“We have been unlucky at the National Cup for a long time, but this year, we are eager to take the cup home. We will have strong opponents ahead of us but will try our best to finish at the top,” coach Chu Đình Nghiêm said.
Hà Nội T&T have twice championed the V. League and won the National Super Cup, but the National Cup title has remained just out of reach.
Their rivals, Nam Định, are the last squad of the First Division to date.
Nam Định, who are at the top of the First Division’s ranking, are the only team to have suffered no losses in all the tournaments of this season. They sent Cần Thơ home in the last match, with a win of 1-0 at Thiên Trường.
Another match to watch today will be between defending champions Becamex Bình Dương and Hoàng Anh Gia Lai.
Becamex Bình Dương trounced Cà Mau 5-1 in the previous match, while Hoàng Anh Gia Lai worked hard to win against SHB Đà Nẵng 1-0, with coach Lê Huỳnh Đức saying his team had underestimated their rivals.
At their latest meet on May 8, Bình Dương buried Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 5-0.
“The match is on our home turf, and we really need to prepare carefully for it. We have strengthened our game under Ivan Firer, who performed well at a recent training match. He will play in the coming match. It will be a nice game,” coach Nguyễn Thanh Sơn of Becamex Bình Dương said.
Other matches in the round include Quảng Ninh Coal vs Long An and Hải Phòng against Quảng Nam.
The second leg will be held on June 29.
This is the first time in the tournament’s history that the quarterfinals will be organised in two sessions to make the game fairer for the teams, the organisers said.
After the National Cup matches, the teams will head to Round 12 of the V. League. — VNS