|Point to prove: HAGL's Nguyen Cong Phuong (right) challenges for the ball against SLNA in a recent V.League 1 match. — Photo thethaovietnam.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) aim to get one point in their match against Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) at the Toyota V.League 1's 22nd round on their home turf, Pleiku Stadium, today.
The home field advantage and confrontational history are HAGL's driving force for this match. During the past four years, SLNA have never beat Gia Lai at Pleiku Stadium.
HAGL are facing a risk of relegating to the lower football event. At present, they are at the bottom with 14 points after 21 matches, less than the other teams near the bottom like Can Tho and Dong Nai with three points. Nghe An have 32 points, ranking seventh out of the 14 teams.
The national premier league has five more rounds. If HAGL want to stay with the league, they must beat Dong Nai and see good results in the remaining matches. Their impending challenge is to face SLNA today.
In theory HAGL still have a chance to stay with the league, but it would be very difficult, as the team have become an enigma of the national premier league when most of players are from U19. All the young players grew up playing in the Hoang Anh Gia Lai-Arsenal JMG Academy.
Aside from improving their technique, newly appointed coach Nguyen Quoc Tuan needs to raise his young footballers' spirits, which have fallen due to recent losses.
Becamex Binh Duong, who top the rankings with 42 points, are expected to defeat Dong Nai at Go Dau Stadium tomorrow. Runner-up FLC Thanh Hoa have the advantage of playing on their home turf in the match with Dong Thap today.
In other news, Quang Ninh Coal will face Quang Nam at Tam Ky Stadium, and Dong Tam Long An meet Can Tho at Tan An Stadium today.
Elsewhere, Ha Noi T&T meet Hai Phong and Khanh Hoa fight SHB Da Nang. — VNS