Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Bùi Tiến Dũng, who shot to fame following Việt Nam U23 team’s silver medal at the AFC last month, will be the No 1 goalkeeper for FLC Thanh Hóa, when they host Global Cebu in their Asian Football Confederation Cup match today in Hà Nội.
Lê Văn Đại, his teammate in the national U23 squad, will also have the chance to take part in the club’s maiden AFC Cup appearance, said coach Marian Mihail at Friday’s press briefing.
Dũng is No 3 goalie, while Đại has yet to earn a regular berth in the first team of the club when they played in the domestic leagues last season.
Mihail has placed his belief in the young players who, he said, deserved to get opportunities to show off their talents.
“Bùi Tiến Dũng and Lê Văn Đại will be in the first team tomorrow. They are national heroes. I hope these young players will bring positive changes to the whole team, which will gives us success in the match,” said Mihail.
"It is a difficult decision for me (to let them play) but despite the lack of experience, they should be encouraged and have a chance to bring into play their ability, especially when they are in their peak form.”
The Romanian coach said Thanh Hóa were a team of young but quality members. They also have good new comers, especially Japanese player Ryatuto Karube, who had an impressive and smart playing style. Meanwhile, Nigerian Edward Ofere showed off his skills during the first days with the team.
He hoped that the combination of old and new players would help his club perform well in 2018.
Talking about their Filipino rival, Mihail said: “Global Cebu are a good team. They have an impressive manner of starting a match. However, Thanh Hóa also have their own tactics. I believe in my players, who have the hunger for victory in their blood. It is really important if you want to reach the top.
“Against Cebu, we tend to have all the three points and an attractive game.”
On the visiting side, coach Marjo Allado said he had watched two matches of Thanh Hóa in the AFC Champions League and observed their pros and cons. He knew Thanh Hóa played well in their local leagues in the recent season, but his team was confident of winning the upcoming match. A win in the opening game will be a strong motivation for them to perform better in the next encounters in the difficult Group G.
Goalkeeper Patrick Deyto, a Filipino national member, said his team were in Việt Nam to win, although it was not easy. Despite the cold weather, his team was ready for a good match, he said.
Global, meanwhile, reached the inter-zone semi-finals last year and will hope to continue their country’s recent momentum at the continental level in the coming campaign.
The match between Thanh Hóa and Global Cebu will be from 4.30pm at the Mỹ Đình Stadium. Doors are open for all supporters.
It will also be aired live on Fox Sports channel.
The second game to be held on Saturday will see Singapore’s Tampines Rovers face Vietnamese former champions Sông Lam Nghệ An in a Group H encounter, which will see the sides renew their acquaintances.
Back in 2012, during Sông Lam Nghệ An’s last appearance in the competition, the Vietnamese side took four points from Tampines, runners-up of the S.League, although both teams failed to progress beyond the group stage.
The Vietnamese line-up also has two U23 squad members, Phan Văn Đức and Nguyễn Xuân Mạnh.
Coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng of Sông Lam Nghệ An said his team would try its best for a good result, at least to repeat the success of the knock-out stage in 2011.
The match at the Jalan Besar Stadium will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2 from 6.30pm. — VNS