|Becamex Binh Duong seen in their training in Japan. They will play FC Tokyo in a AFC Champions League match this afternoon. — Photo bongdaplus.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Becamex Binh Duong are faced with a huge difficulty when meeting FC Tokyo in the second round Group E match at the Asian Football Confederation Champions League today.
The Viet Nam champions have none of their best players in their line-up. Midfielder Michal Nguyen developed high fever a few hours after landing in Tokyo. Defender Dang Van Robert and attacking midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang, who had a good game against Jiangsu Sunning last week, are at home because of injuries. Cameroonian forward and striker Christian Amougou Nsi has been banned after receiving two yellow cards last week.
While training on February 29 Captain Oloya Moses practised on the sidelines as he had a muscle strain.
"Nsi's suspension is very costly as he is a very strong player for us," Becamex Binh Duong coach Nguyen Thanh Son said.
"It was rather disappointing to lose in in the second half against Jiangsu as I felt we could have won the game with 11 men. However, for the match against FC Tokyo, we have other strong players to use as options, so I hope we will be alright.
"Our strength is the hard work of our players, and on top of that most of our players have been together for a long time, so they understand each other pretty well on the pitch."
One of those players, Vietnamese icon Le Cong Vinh, is on familiar shores having spent a loan spell with Japanese club Consadole Sapporo in 2013.
"We have learnt about not only FC Tokyo but also other Japanese sides through Vinh, and we know that they are very strong," added Son.
"It is not just about winning or losing. It is about doing our best and putting our all into the game, first and foremost."
However, the weather is another challenge for the team who are based in a place that is hot but now compete under temperatures ranging from 3oC to 12oC, according to Le Hong Cuong, a member of the managing board.
"We had a long flight and took three hours transferring in Hong Kong. My players lost sleep while facing the cold weather. All these things make the match more difficult for us," he said.
Binh Duong are now in third position in the rankings after a 1-1 draw in their first game.
On the other side, FC Tokyo are at the bottom due to their previous 1-2 defeat to former winner Jeonbuk Motors.
Coach Hiroshi Jofuku, who is satisfied with what FC Tokyo have done so far, hopes his side can bounce back and earn their first three points in what is already a vital tie today. — VNS