|Striker Pedro Paulo (left) will be hoping to keep the goals coming for Viettel against Phnom Penh Crown. Photo of Viettel FC|
HÀ NỘI — Viettel coach Bae Ji-won hopes his team will take their second win in the AFC Cup when they face Phnom Penh Crown of Cambodia today in a Group I fixture at the Thống Nhất Stadium in HCM City.
The emphatic 5-1 win over Young Elephants of Laos on Friday was a boost for the South Korean manager, although he was not wholly satisfied with the former V.League 1 champion's performance.
"Despite scoring many goals, I don't think we played very well," said Bae. "We were not focused when we conceded. My goalkeeper lost his concentration and our opponents took advantage to score."
"However, these things can happen in football. We have had good preparation but the goal we conceded shows how important it is to remain focused. I think Viettel players can do better."
Bae said his coaching board watched Phnom Penh Crown play against Singapore's Hougang United on Friday, where they lost 4-3.
He found them to be a good team that are well-organised and competitive.
Bae aims to tweak his side and asked for them to be totally focused on getting three points.
"Of course, we want more wins. I do not suffer from pressure. I know my players will play our own way to have the best result," he said.
Speaking about his front line's performance, Bae said he trusted Pedro Paulo. The striker wasted lot of threatening chances despite scoring a hattrick on Friday.
"Sometimes my striker does not play as well as we expect, but the important thing was he scored. He needed more time after being sidelined with an injury," Bae said.
"About (U23 forward) Nhâm Mạnh Dũng, he is a talented player with potential. He might have a chance to start, but the club's best results are the top priority."
Dũng also netted once in the team's victory last week.
Also present at the press conference was defender Trương Văn Thiết, who said Viettel have a plan to prevent Phnom Penh Crown's strikers.
"We will have to concentrate and work hard. Phnom Penh Crown is home to national team members who will need to be watched closely by our defenders. We will strictly follow our tactics and will not give them space to play freely," Thiết said.
On the other side, coach Oleg Starynskyi said his players will try their best to control the game, which is key to beating Viettel.
He said Viettel are strong and have the balance to set the pace of the match.
Phnom Penh Crown are also targetting a win, based on their five foreign players and national squad's Lim Pisoth, Choun Chanchav, Orn Chanpolin, and Yue Safy.
Ukrainian Starynskyi said the coming match would be the toughest game for his team. It plays a decisive role in Phnom Penh Crown's fate at the AFC Cup. Only a win will keep their chances of making it to the next round alive.
Colombian midfielder Andres Nieto said Phnom Penh Crown researched Viettel and have a suitable plan to tackle the V.League 1 powerhouse. VNS