Nam Định to compete in AFC Champions League Two, hope to win first V.League 1 title

June 24, 2024 - 07:04
It is the first time after 16 years that Nam Định has earned the opportunity to compete continentally.


Thép Xanh Nam Định's players in a training session. The club is Việt Nam's representative at the AFC Champions League Two. Photos courtesy of Thép Xanh Nam Định FC

NAM ĐỊNH Thép Xanh Nam Định will be Việt Nam's first representative to compete at the AFC Champions League Two in the 2024-25 season.

Each country has two places in the continental tournament, one for the champions of the V.League 1 and the other to the winners of the National Cup.

Currently, Nam Định and Bình Định are two candidates for the V.League title as the league will come to the end on June 30.

However, Bình Định is one of several Vietnamese clubs that are not allowed to compete in Asian competitions because they did not meet tournaments' requirements.

As a result, Nam Định will take their place regardless of their final position.

It is the first time after 16 years that Nam Định has earned the opportunity to compete continentally.

Their first time was in 2008 after they secured the 2007 National Cup title.

Early victory

Nam Định are on top of the ranking with 47 points, two more than Bình Định with only two matches left.

Nam Định can decide their fate on June 25 if they can beat Khánh Hòa in the penultimate game at home.

A win over the relegated visitors will bring Nam Định's first-ever national premier league trophy with one game in spare ignoring the results of all other matches.

The V.League 1 organisers have also arranged for the cup to be ready for presentation if Nam Định win.

Nam Định have announced that the Thiên Trường Stadium will be open for free to all supporters to encourage the host side and celebrate their first V.League 1 victory.

"During this year's V-League 1 journey, Nam Định FC has received great love from fans from all over the country. Thiên Trường is often the stadium with the largest number of spectators," posted a statement of Nam Định on its fanpage.

"It is fans' support that has contributed to players' high spirit and performance, leading to our good results. Nam Định FC is very close to the finish line and we hope to continue receiving your love and support to turn dreams into reality."

In addition to the team's win, Nam Định will also wait to see their striker Rafaelson Bezerra Fernandes extend his scoring record.

Rafaelson Bezerra Fernandes (left) hopes to extend his V.League 1 scoring record.

Rafaelson will surely take the top scorer title of the season with 28 goals after 24 matches. He scored 12 more than his closest rival Sebastiao Alexandre of Bình Định.

The Brazilian has become the best scorer in V-League 1 history and is currently seventh in the world ranking for the 2023-24 season.

He would not only set a new record in the domestic league but also improve his world ranking if he could secure more goals on June 25.

Other matches of the day will feature defending champion Hà Nội Police FC vs LPBank Hoàng Anh Gia Lai; Sông Lam Nghệ An vs neighbour Hà Tĩnh; HCM City vs Quảng Nam; Hải Phòng vs Hà Nội; Bình Dương vs Bình Định; and Đông Á Thanh Hóa vs Thể Công-Viettel. VNS