Midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải of Hà Nội FC celebrates his goal during Hà Nội's 4-2 win over Sài Gòn FC in the V.League 1 last season. Hà Nội will play Viettel in the Super Cup on January 9 at Hàng Đẫy Stadium. Photo courtesy of VPF
HÀ NỘI After an up and down 2020 season, midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải of Hà Nội FC will be hoping to hit the ground running this year in the National Super Cup tomorrow against Viettel.
Hà Nội, the National Cup holders, will aim to defend the Super Cup trophy while Viettel, the V.League 1 champions, are aiming to take the crown for the second time and the first in their current incarnation.
Hải has struggled and only notched four league goals last season, though he did pop up with goals in big moments.
Hải netted for the capital city team when they were drawing 1-1 with Sài Gòn FC during the crunch November 8 V.League 1 match, sparking Hà Nội’s 4-2 win. The goal was then voted the best of the season.
In the National Cup final, he also shone by scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over Viettel.
“I will do my best if I have a chance to play in the (Super Cup) match. Hope that my contribution will help my team succeed,” said Hải at a press briefing in Hà Nội.
While Ha Noi have Hai firing fit, they will have to do without defenders Đoàn Văn Hậu, Đỗ Duy Mạnh and Trần Đình Trọng due to injuries.
“Hà Nội will definitely not have Hậu in the match because he will have treatment this week. Mạnh and Trọng have not found their feeling with playing yet after a long time out,” said coach Chu Đình Nghiêm of Hà Nội.
“It is unclear that they can play or not. And if they want to play they will also have to vie against other players such as Bùi Hoàng Việt Anh and Nguyễn Thành Chung,” said Nghiêm, who may also have to do without new foreign forwards Bruno Cantanhede and Geovane Magno.
On the other side, Viettel also face personnel problems.
Their captain Bùi Tiến Dũng will not play as he has wedding parties on January 8 and 10, while defender Quế Ngọc Hải is 50-50 to play after suffering a groin injury last month when he played for the national team in a friendly versus the U22 squad.
Viettel lost Cantanhede to Hà Nội this season, which will be a big glow for the military team. The Brazilian scored 23 goals in two seasons and was a key part in their 2020 V.League 1 triumph.
But Pedro Paulo, another Brazilian, has come to fill his place. Paulo was the joint-top league goal-scorer last season with 12 goals for Sài Gòn FC.
Speaking at the briefing, Viettel coach assistant Nguyễn Hải Biên said: “All Viettel players have an opportunity to play in this match."
Biên, who won the national first Super Cup trophy as a player of Thể Công (the former name of Viettel) in 1999, added that: “It is really moved to participate as a member of the coaching staff this time. It has been 22 years since my and the team’s first time. I hope that both sides play fairly and there is a win for Viettel."
The winning team will secure VNĐ300 million while the losers will walk away with VNĐ200 million. Other prizes will be delivered to the first scorer and man of the match.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 5,000 supporters will be allowed in Hàng Đẫy Stadium. The match which will be aired live on VTV6 from 4.45pm. VNS