Viet Nam News -
HÀ NỘI – Becamex Bình Dương will receive a big bonus in cash if they qualify for the next round of the Asian Football Confederation Champions League.
Becamex Bình Dương will play Chinese Jiangsu Suning in the Group E today and hope to bring at least one point home.
“If we cannot draw with Jiangsu we have no chance of continuing in the Champions League. We travel to China targeting at least one point before thinking about our next plan,” Lê Hồng Cường, general director of Bình Dương Sports and Football Jointstock Company, that manages the Việt Nam’s V. League defending champions, said.
After four rounds, Becamex Bình Dương are at the bottom of the group with four points. A defeat for the Vietnamese champions against Jiangsu Suning, meanwhile, would see coach Nguyễn Thanh Sơn’s side eliminated from the competition.
However, they still have a chance because their gap with the two leading teams, FC Tokyo and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, is only three and two points, respectively. Jiangsu Suning are one step higher than Becamex Bình Dương on five points.
All teams have two matches left in this group round.
Cường said his players were in a good mood after their two wins in the V. League over the previous weekends.
They were also in perfect shape after some intensive practice in nearly a month in March when the league was off for the national team.
Cường and his team also have a reason to believe in a positive result as they defeated K. League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 in the previous round match.
Cường said a bonus of VNĐ1 billion (US$45,000) was up for grabs if the squad could advance to the next round of the tournament.
The Chinese powerhouse which shopped a lot ahead of the season are at their peak performance showing their strength as the leader of the local league after five rounds.
Their only question is the integration of the highly-paid players including Asia’s most expensive striker Alex Teixeira with the rest of the team.
Teixeira who came to Jiangsu under a contract of US$55 million just has three goals after nine games in all competitions.
His scoring productivity is less than Becamex Bình Dương’s Nguyễn Anh Đức who netted four times in the Champions League only.
History stands on Jiangsu’s side as Becamex Bình Dương lost all their matches when they played on away grounds in the two latest seasons.
In their first leg match on February 23 the hosts drew with Jiangsu Suning 1-1 in Bình Dương Province.
In another match of the group, coach Hiroshi Jofuku’s FC Tokyo need only to beat Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to ensure a second Round of 16 appearance. A win for the J. League side and a draw between Jiangsu Suning and Becamex Bình Dương would also see the play-off qualifiers top the group. -- VNS