Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Top teams Hà Nội T&T and Quảng Ninh Coal are set to face off in the penultimate round of the premier V.League this weekend.
The winner of the match will win the triumph cup.
Prior to the match, Quảng Ninh’s coach Phan Thanh Hùng said there is only one way of winning and that Quảng Ninh can decide for themselves if they stand a chance of winning the tournament for the first time in history.
After 24 rounds, Hà Nội T&T are on top with 44 points, whereas Quảng Ninh are ranked second with the same points, but less goal difference.
The match is also attractive for the public as this is the first time that coach Hùng is advising the rival of his former club.
Hùng successfully coached Hà Nội T&T to win two titles and four silver medals before leaving the team earlier this year.
“Chances (of winning) are equal for both sides. Quảng Ninh have local experienced players and a small advantage of playing on the home ground at Cẩm Phả Stadium with many supporters,” Hùng said.
However, Hùng appreciated T&T’s young and qualified players.
“They have the best young players in the V.League this season. I used to be with them in the past and I know they will become good players in the future,” Hùng said. “They will pose a challenge for us in the coming match.”
“We do not place any pressure on players. We do not force ourselves to take the title at any price, but we will steal their chances when it comes. Hà Nội T&T are strong, but they are not unbeatable,” Hùng noted.
However, Quảng Ninh and Hùng will have to deal with the fact that three of their key players in the line-up will not be playing during the match.
Defender Dương Văn Khoa, midfielders Bùi Văn Hiếu and Vũ Minh Tuấn will be sidelined because of yellow cards received during previous matches.
Khoa, who has played 23 out of 24 games, is a difficult-to-replace player in the left wing. Hiếu has one cap less than Khoa and has pocketed two goals so far. He knows Hà Nội T&T by heart after four years of wearing their jersey.
Tuấn’s absence might be a big blow for the hosts as the captain is a sharp goal hunter, with 11 finishes to date. He has been a regular face on the national team since 2012.
Hà Nội T&T’s coach Chu Đình Nghiêm of T&T confirmed that his key striker Hoàng Vũ Samson will not play in this game because of injury. Samson had requested pain killers, but his request was denied.
“We had hoped he can make it, but it is impossible. Clearly without him the power of our frontline will be remarkably reduced,” Nghiêm said.
The team’s French striker Loris Arnaud will be also on the bench due to health reasons, added Nghiêm.
“In the recent years, Cẩm Phả have always been the most aggressive stadium in Việt Nam. Playing in such a ground will not be easy for any team or player,” said Nghiêm.
“Moreover, coach Hùng used to work at T&T and he knows us very well. We must focus during every second of this match and limit our mistakes. We need three points from this match for our V.League title target,” he added.
During the first leg match, Quảng Ninh won 1-0 at Hàng Đẫy Stadium.
Before their match tomorrow, Hà Nội T&T won three games in a row, while Quảng Ninh have enjoyed winning streak of eight matches. — VNS