|Quảng Ninh Coal (pictured) will face Thanh Hóa in the 24th round of the V. League 1 at the weekend. — Photo laodong.com.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Quảng Ninh Coal will have their best players for the match with Thanh Hóa in the 24th round of the V. League 1 at the weekend.
“We do not have many players for the league but our key players are still safe for the match against Thanh Hóa,” the coach, Phan Thanh Hùng said.
After 23 rounds, Quảng Ninh top the rankings with 43 points, followed by Hải Phòng and Hà Nội T&T with 41 points. Thanh Hóa are fifth with 38 points.
Hùng said his team would do their best to gain three points to maintain the lead in the rankings with special support of Quảng Ninh fans.
Meanwhile in the event’s first leg, Thanh Hóa crushed Quảng Ninh 4-2, so in the next match the team are also determined to beat their rival to narrow the gap.
To ensure the objectiveness, the Việt Nam Football Federation has invited Thailand’s referee Nonthawong Suprem to supervise the match.
Earlier, Thai referee Nualjan Teetichai was also invited to officiate in the match between Hoàng Anh Gia Lai and Long An in the 21st round.
The league has three more rounds to finish, so both Quảng Ninh and Thanh Hóa still have the chance to triumph in the premier league.
Quảng Ninh have an advantage on points in the race to the title. However, coach Hùng seems to have reservations about his team’s chances to win the league.
“The challenge ahead for Quảng Ninh is very difficult. The team must beat two strong rivals namely Thanh Hóa and Hà Nội T&T, then they can think of the title,” Hùng said.
In other news, Hải Phòng, a candidate for the title, are at a disadvantage. In three recent matches, they had one draw, two losses, and have lost their No 1 position to Quảng Ninh.
In the 23rd round last week, Hải Phòng were defeated by Cần Thơ, causing a few disturbances in the team. Coach’s assistant Lê Sỹ Mạnh got a suspension for three matches from the Việt Nam Football Federation’s Discipline Department due to his excessive response with the referee.
Hải Phòng will meet Quảng Nam on their home turf. It will be the chance for Hải Phòng to score three points as Quảng Nam lack some good players from injuries and cards. If the squad best Quảng Nam, and Hà Nội T&T and Quảng Ninh lose or are tied with their rivals, Hải Phòng will be back at No 1.
Elsewhere, Đà Nẵng face Sài Gòn FC, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai take on Đồng Tháp, Đồng Tâm Long An fight Cần Thơ, and Hà Nội T&T play Khánh Hòa, while Sông Lam Nghệ An meet Becamex Bình Dương. — VNS