|Nguyễn Quang Hải of Hà Nội (left) and Lương Xuân Trường of HAGL (right). The two players competed for Việt Nam U23 team in the AFC U23 Championship in China in January. — Photo motthegioi.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Some of the countries top young football stars will do battle in Hà Nội today.
All eyes will be on the match between Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) and Hà Nội FC in the V.League 1 at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội today.
Previously, the match was postponed because of the State funeral of former Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải on March 20-21.
The match will feature many members of the national under-23 team that finished second in the U23 Asian Football Confederation in China in January.
Hà Nội FC are currently second in the table with two wins and one draw, while the mountainous side have one win and two draws to rank eighth.
If Hà Nội win, they will take first place from Quảng Ninh Coal.
Among the capital side’s seven national U23 players, midfielders Trần Đình Trọng and Đỗ Duy Mạnh performed excellently as defensive midfielder, helping Việt Nam withstand heavy pressure in most of the team’s matches. They have featured in all three of Hà Nội’s league games this season.
Meanwhile, among the six HAGL players who played for the U23 team, Vũ Văn Thanh and Nguyễn Văn Toàn have played all 270 minutes for HAGL in the league this year. In a 3-2 win against Nam Định, striker Toàn scored the opener.
Nguyễn Phong Hồng Duy and Lương Xuân Trường have also netted for HAGL, while midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải hasn’t scored any goals for Hà Nội. Hải was the hero of the U23 team as he scored five goals at the continental event.
According to former coach Nguyễn Thành Vinh, Hà Nội FC are more confident and energetic than HAGL.
“I think that young players of Hà Nội play better. Coach Chu Đình Nghiêm combined the youth of the U23 players with veterans such as midfielder Phạm Thành Lương who won Golden Ball awards in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016 and striker Nguyễn Văn Quyết to create a strong team,” said Vinh.
“Despite having the support of technical director Chung Hea-seong, HAGL don’t have much tactical versatility,” Vinh added.
Vinh said the visitors have only a 30-40 per cent chance of winning.
“There are many factors for my comment. For example, in terms of weather, Hà Nội is very dry and hot. It is not cool like in Pleiku City where HAGL play. Besides, Hà Nội’s foreign players are more accomplished than HAGL. Ganiyu Bolayi Oseni of Hà Nội is the league’s top scorer with three goals in three matches,” said Vinh.
HAGL have lost their four most recent matches against Hà Nội in the capital. — VNS