Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Becamex Bình Dương will want to bid goodbye to the Asian Football Confederation Champions League with a victory in the last Group E match today at their Gò Đậu Stadium.
In a press conference yesterday, coach Nguyễn Thanh Sơn said that despite elimination Becamex Bình Dương would give off the best in their final game against FC Tokyo, even though result will have no influence on the final ranking of the group.
“We are already out but we will leave with a good result from this match. It is our duty towards our home fans and a win will be what they deserve,” Sơn said.
“I believe in a positive score, as Becamex Bình Dương have had good results when playing on home soil, with one win and two draws.”
In this match captain Nguyễn Anh Đức has been sidelined because of an ankle injury that he suffered last Saturday in a V. League match against Hải Phòng.
His absence will strongly affect the hosts’ power as Đức is not only a key striker who has scored four goals in the league, but is also a playmaker of the team.
“Đức is an important player. Without him we would meet with more difficulties, but I am not too worried because some other players could be a suitable replacement,” Sơn said.
“Our three-time Golden Ball holder Nguyễn Công Vinh or Nsi Amogou Ch. Jose are ready to take over his job.”
Defender Đình Luật and midfielder Lê Tấn Tài will also not attend the game because of injury and penalty cards.
On the visiting side, FC Tokyo coach Hiroshi Jofuku showed his concern about the type of grass on Becamex Bình Dương’s field which was different from what they were familiar with at home.
The other problem is the temperature difference of 15° Celsius between the two cities.
Jofuku said his players needed time to adjust to these challenges but they were still not comfortable enough though they arrived in Việt Nam on Sunday, three days ahead of the game.
The Japanese coach did hide his ambition of winning this match to grab a ticket to the last-16 round. It was one of the ways to please their fans because FC Tokyo were not meeting expectations at the local league, standing at No 13.
A draw or a win for FC Tokyo in Việt Nam, meanwhile, would ensure the Japanese club make a second appearance in the knock-out round.
In the first leg match in Tokyo on March 1, FC Tokyo struggled in the early time to beat Becamex Bình Dương 3-1.
The match will be aired live on Fox Sport from 5pm.
Jiangsu currently occupy second spot in Group E and sit just a point behind table-topping hosts Jeonbuk after defeating Viet Nam’s Becamex Binh Duong 3-0 a fortnight ago, but FC Tokyo are only a point behind as they head into the final match day.
In another game of the group, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea will face Chinese Jiangsu Suning FC at the same time.
A victory over 2006 winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors would ensure Dan Petrescu’s Jiangsu top the group, while matching or bettering FC Tokyo’s result against already-eliminated Becamex Bình Dương would also take the Chinese Super League side through.
“In our next game we play away against Jeonbuk. It is going to be extremely difficult as they are the Korean champions,” Petrescu, who will be without defender Li Ang due to suspension, said.
“We could qualify for the Round of 16 if we win, but if we lose, we will have to see what happens between FC Tokyo and Bình Dương.”
Jeonbuk midfielder Kim Bo-kyung and forward Ricardo Lopes will be absent from the match at Jeonju World Cup Stadium due to suspension.
After five round matches, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are on top with nine points. Jiangsu Suning (eight) and Tokyo (seven) are second and third Becamex Bình Dương are at the bottom with four. – VNS