Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Sanna Khánh Hòa has set a target of winning three points from their first match at the ASEAN Football Federation Futsal Championship in Thailand today.
The Vietnamese 2016 champions will play Malaysian defending champions Melaka United, who would be Việt Nam’s main opponent on their way to secure a berth in the next round at the Bangkok Arena.
“Based on what I have known, Melaka are not an easy rival. Apart from their local quality players, they also have a foreigner in their team to strengthen their power,” said coach Đặng Đình Khang of Sanna Khánh Hòa.
“However, we have prepared for the tournament and believe in a positive result in the first match, which is a key point in our journey in this tournament,” he said.
Sanna Khánh Hòa arrived in Bangkok last week. They had two friendly matches with the local clubs. They lost 3-9 to Thakham Cold Storage after defeating Department of Highways 4-2. Both clubs are members of the Thai league.
Khang who will have his strongest line-up once all players are ready will have captain Mai Thành Đạt and pivo Phan Khắc Chí playing in the front line. Nguyễn Nhớ and Trần Văn Thanh will take care of the two wings. They were the key players to score for the team during the local league, which concluded last week.
It is the second time that Sanna Khánh Hòa has attended the regional event. In 2015, they failed to qualify for the knock-out stage. This year they hope to advance to the semi-finals.
“I wish we can have more time to perfect our preparation, which has not been as good as we would like it to be. It is because our championship just ended, so we did not have enough time to work on fitness or conditioning,” said Nguyễn Xuân Huy, Sana Khanh Hòa’s assistant coach.
“We have been working hard to prepare this team. It is an important tournament for us, so we hope to make an impact,” said Isa Rahim, Melaka head coach, on aseanfootball.org.
Speaking at the technical meeting yesterday, Việt Nam Football Federation Deputy President Trần Quốc Tuấn said: “Việt Nam have made remarkable progress in both regional and continental competitions. I hope that Sanna Khánh Hòa will go through the next rounds of the championship, because the club is a strong one in the domestic tournament.”
Tuấn, who is also the AFF’s Deputy President, confirmed that in 2017, Việt Nam’s futsal would improve strongly, as the team and clubs would take part in different quality international events.
In the Bangkok tourney, Sanna Khánh Hòa and Melaka are in Group B with East Coach Heat FC of Australia and Vientiane Captital FC from Laos.
East Coach Heat are also a team to watch out for, as they are expected to make it to the semi-final round.
East Coach Heat who play Sanna Khánh Hòa on Wednesday, however, do not have their best members currently.
“The bulk of the players are still there, but we are missing two or three players owing to work commitment,” said Bobby Mazevski, East Coast Heat team manager, on aseanfootball.org.
“We did not have much of game time, although we have been preparing the team for the last three to four weeks.”
The last time the Australians took part in the championship was back in 2015 when they came in fourth.
Like Melaka, Vientiane Capital are making their debut this year. They will play Sanna Khánh Hòa tomorrow. — VNS