|Pride of Viet Nam: Hà Nội FC celebrate beating Tampines Rovers in the 2017 AFC Cup Group G. They will face Ceres Negros of the Philippines today at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City. — Photo performgroup.com|
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội FC will face Ceres Negros of the Philippines today at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City in Group G of the 2017 AFC Cup.
Hà Nội currently top the group undefeated with two wins and a pair of draws. Ceres are third with a win, two draws and a loss –tied with Felda United of Malaysia.
Hà Nội left for the Philippines on Monday to prepare for the match. However, the team will not have the services of star striker Gonzalo Damian Marronkle due to injury.
The Argentine forward also missed his sides 1-0 win over Sông Lam Nghệ An in the V.League 1 at the weekend.
Hà Nội currently top the table domestically as well, with 23 points after 12 games.
According to coach Chu Đình Nghiêm, without Marronkle, forwards Hoàng Vũ Samson and Loris Arnaud will need to step up against Ceres Negros. Nghiêm also expects his youngsters to raise their game.
Nghiêm hoped the team would earn at least one point to open the door to qualifying for the next round.
Alfredo Maranon Jr, Governor of the Province of Negros Occidental, said he will join thousands of spectators in cheering on Ceres Negros in this much-awaited game.
“May you compete with integrity and fairness as you continue to make us all proud of your triumphant victories in your previous games,” he said on the website sunstar.com.ph.
“While we have a strong local team, we cannot underestimate the visiting team from Việt Nam. Let us support the Ceres Negros by witnessing the game,” said vice governor Eugenio Lacson.
The other Vietnamese representative in the AFC Cup, Quảng Ninh Coal, rank bottom of Group H with only one point after three matches and are almost certainly knocked out.
Quảng Ninh will meet Yadanarbon in their last match on May 2 in Myanmar. — VNS