Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Quảng Ninh Coal of Việt Nam and Singapore’s Home United can close the gap on Group H pacesetters Yadanarbon of Myanmar at the Asian Football Confederation Cup today.
Both two sides seek their first wins in the three-team group.
Yadanarbon are on top with four points after one win and one draw. Quảng Ninh Coal are second with one point after a 1-1 draw with Yadanarbon last week. The Singaporean-side were defeated 0-1 by their Myanmarese opponents in the group’s opener in February.
Coach Phan Thanh Hùng and his players are determined to win. They arrived in Singapore three days prior to the game to familiarise themselves with the venue.
However, Hùng faces big trouble, as his key players, Thanh Hiền, Xuân Hùng and Tuấn Tú, could not join the team because of injuries.
Tú suffered a pain in the knee and is gradually recovering. Hiền received the injury during a match against Yadanarbon, while Hùng twisted an ankle during training on Saturday.
The Vietnamese, who currently sits eighth in the 14-team Vietnamese League, put the onus on captain Vũ Minh Tuấn. The midfielder is no stranger to the regional stage, as he has proved to be one of the brighter sparks in the team’s AFF Suzuki Cup campaign last December.
Tuấn has had a purple patch this year so far, having scored five goals in all five appearances for Quảng Ninh Coal in V. League.
He scored the only goal in his team’s 1-1 draw against Yadanarbon.
Congolese striker Patiyo Tambwe is also a player to watch as he hit the woodwork twice in that match.
Quảng Ninh Coal are making their debut in the AFC Cup, while Home United are playing in this competition for the eighth time.
Home United are a strong club in their domestic tournament, S.League. They have recently won five matches in a row on home turf.
The impressive start in the S.League would inspire and help them to produce a positive result in the Cup.
To add to the air of excitement for Home this season, is one of Singapore’s finest footballers, Hariss Harun who might prove to be the key if Home United require his services for this game.
The experienced campaigner is speculated to return to Spain in six months to play for the Spanish club CE L ‘Hospitalet in the Division B.
Home United is also home to three national players, goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, defender Juma’at Jantan and midfielder Muhammad Faris Ramli. The club also have South Korean midfielder Song Ui-young and French defender Sirina Camara.
The general consensus amongst both coaches from Quảng Ninh Coal and Yadanarbon is that Home United are not the hardest of opponents with Yadanarbon’s coach Rene Desaeyere quoted saying, "Quảng Ninh are a very strong team in Việt Nam and are a lot more powerful than Home United.”
The match will be held at the Jalan Besar Stadium, from 6.30pm and will be live aired on Fox Sports channel.
Another Vietnamese team, defending champions Hà Nội FC also have their game at the Cup tomorrow in Hà Nội. The team who is at third after two draws will host second-placed Tampines Rovers of Singapore, whose record reads one win and one loss. — VNS