HCM CITY (VNS)— Favourites Becamex Binh Duong and SHB Da Nang square off in a second round match in the Eximbank V-League today.
The teams began the season on contrasting fashion last week.
After four years in charge, coach Le Huynh Duc has transformed Da Nang into a powerhouse, thanks to a balanced combination of foreign stars and local players, young talent and old masters.
Besides extending the contract with Argentine striker Gaston Merlo, Da Nang have also signed Tanzanian striker Danny David Mrwanda, who will provide Duc with more attacking options and stand in if there are injuries to Merlo or Huynh Quoc Anh.
In the midfield veteran playmaker Nguyen Minh Phuong and midfielders Nguyen Sa and Phan Thanh Hung are in good form.
Duc has also brought solidity to the defence with star centre-back Chau Le Phuoc Vinh and national goalkeeper Nguyen Thanh Binh being the bulwark.
They started the season with an easy 2-0 win over Kien Giang.
Things are not so smooth for Duc's opposite number at Binh Duong, South Korean Choo Yoon- hwan, a year after taking over though the team have been pouring money in pursuit of a third title.
Last weekend they lost to depleted Xuan Thanh Sai Gon Cement though the latter were playing with 10 men for most of the second half after Nguyen Ngoc Anh was sent off.
At the post-match press conference, Choo shrugged off the loss, saying the season has just begun and Binh Duong would get better.
But pundits have begun to express doubts over Hwan's decision to send Philani, the attacking South African midfielder, to TDC Binh Duong, who play in the First Division.
Song Lam Nghe An and Ha Noi T&T seem set to score their second wins this week when they take on Kien Long Bank Kien Giang and The Vissai Ninh Binh Cement.
In what are likely to be closer ties, tomorrow Thanh Hoa host Dong Nai and Hoang Anh Gia Lai host Dong Tam Long An. The home teams are however tipped to win. — VNS