Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) will begin their journey towards the V.League 1 trophy with a match against former champions Becamex Bình Dương in the event’s first round at Pleiku Stadium today.
The team hope to beat their rivals and get off to a good start for the season.
“Our goal is to crush Bình Dương,” said coach Dương Minh Ninh of HAGL.
Before entering the event, HAGL contributed many key players including Nguyễn Công Phượng, Lương Xuân Trường, Nguyễn Văn Toàn, Vũ Văn Thanh and Nguyễn Phong Hồng Duy to the national U23 team competing in the AFC U23 Championship in China in January, at which Viet Nam won a silver medal for the first time in history.
The team has other outstanding footballers including Nguyễn Tuấn Anh, Trần Minh Vương and Trần Hữu Đông Triều.
With talented players from home and abroad, namely midfielder Kim Jin-seo of South Korea and striker Gordon Rimario Allando of Jamaica, HAGL are the top candidates for the title in this year’s football season.
Acting chairman of HCM City FC, Lê Công Vinh also highly appreciated the power of the football team, HAGL, and said that they could lift the trophy.
According to coach Ninh, the success of Việt Nam’s U23 team in the AFC event is a great driving force for his team in the nation’s top flight league.
“The success of HAGL’s players in the national U23 team is a basis for us to defeat Bình Dương in the opening day of the league. Although it will be very difficult, we believe we will win,” said Ninh.
Midfielder and captain Xuân Trường is the most prominent name in HAGL’s line-up. The 22-year-old was also the captain of the U23 team that competed in China.
After two years of playing in South Korea on loan, the player from the northern province of Tuyên Quang believes he can help his team play well against rivals at home.
Trường said he and his teammates will make every effort to show their strength in the race to the title.
“If we fail in the league, everybody will think that myself and my teammates don’t deserve the silver medal from the Asian championship. So I want to demonstrate that our performance, playing for the U23 team, wasn’t down to luck,” said Trường.
“I hope Trường will shine in the coming game. He is always calm when he plays. Moreover, he has the qualities of a leader. He is a fulcrum for his teammates in the most difficult time. I believe he won’t betray fans’ feelings towards him,” said Ninh.
“I feel a little bit nervous entering the first match of the season as I haven’t played football in the country for two years. However, I will try my best to compete and do the best for my club,” Trường added.
With the return of Trường, coach Ninh will have a chance to introduce a pair of central midfielders: Anh and Trường.
Meanwhile, Bình Dương is said to be a decent rival to HAGL. They are in the process of bringing new blood into the team and are no longer a candidate for the title this year.
They have signed a contract with striker Romario Kortzorg of the Netherlands and midfielder Alexandros Tanidis of Greece for the event.
Bình Dương said goodbye to coach Trần Bình Sự to employ the services of young ace Trần Minh Chiến. Chiến brought his new team many young talents including midfielder Nguyễn Anh Tài (former national U23 footballer) and defender Hồ Tấn Tài from Bình Định. Coach Chiến is also looking for a win today to raise his players’ spirits. – VNS