|Scuffle: Binh Duong and Dong Thap players in a recent V.League match. Binh Duong will play Quang Ninh Coal tomorrow. — Photo binhduongffc.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — National favourites Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) will meet the bottom placed Da Nang in the Toyota V.League 1's fifth round in Pleiku Stadium in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai tomorrow.
Both teams seek a win, while the hosts, HAGL, have suffered three losses in a row and now rank 10th out of 14 teams, while Da Nang stand at the bottom of the ranking table with three losses and one draw.
However, it is part of their overall plan to expect HAGL to lose one more match, said officials.
"I know many people worry and are in doubt about HAGL's ability in the league. I think there's nothing to this matter," said the head of HAGL club, Doan Nguyen Duc.
"Everyone has his or her plan. I have my plan, but I haven't revealed it, so everyone shouldn't comment, especially in V.League's first rounds," Duc added.
"HAGL will be invested in the long term. They need time to have good results. HAGL needs seven or eight matches to play better," added Duc.
"Watching HAGL at the moment is not an easy task because they are an enthusiastic and young team who receive a lot of interest from fans nationwide. However, our team will try our best to gain three points in the upcoming match," said Da Nang's coach Le Huynh Duc.
HAGL has become an enigma in the national premier league as the team has U19 players, who grew up in the Hoang Anh Gia Lai-Arsenal JMG Academy.
In other matches, Hai Phong may have three more points when they meet Can Tho, the second to the bottom placed club in the southern province of Can Tho. At present, Hai Phong, which ranks in second place, has very skillful strikers and defenders and have not lost any matches in the last four rounds.
Binh Duong is showing their considerable strength in the national premier league with four wins and ranks first in the rankings. Observers are watching to see if they have one more win when they meet Quang Ninh Coal, who placed No 3, in Go Dau Stadium tomorrow.
Quang Ninh has an equally strong line-up with well-known names such as Mac Hong Quan, Nghiem Xuan Tu, Nguyen Minh Tung and Nguyen Quang Hai, who helped them become the dark horse in this year's standings.
Meanwhile, Quang Nam played against Dong Nai in Tam Ky Stadium, Dong Tam Long An fights Dong Thap in Long An Stadium and Sanna Khanh Hoa faces Song Lam Nghe An in Nha Trang Stadium. — VNS