President calls for champions to get back to winning ways
A win, and only a win. That’s what Hanoi FC’s young president Do Quang Vinh wants from his team as the V.League 1 gets back in action today.
Captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết (left) is confident of a positive result when Hà Nội face Hoàng Anh Gia Lai in V.League match on Friday. — Photo of VPF
The reigning champions host Hoàng Anh Gia Lai at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in the capital.
Speaking to media on Wednesday, Vinh, 25, confirmed that: “All members of Hà Nội FC are asked to be united and determined to ensure a win over Hoàng Anh Gia Lai.
“This match not only attracts people’s eyes because it is a meeting between two rivals with talented players but also marks the moment that Hà Nội are back in action to defend our title.
“The format of the tournament has been changed because of the coronavirus so no one loses their concentration including reigning champions Hà Nội.”
Hà Nội and Hoàng Anh Gia Lai have 11 national players between them, making this match a real clash of the titans.
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will be almost at full strength with the exception of missing midfielder Lương Xuân Trường who has not played a single match this season.
Serbian midfielder Damir Memovic has totally recovered from his injury and can play from the beginning.
His return will strengthen the visitors’ midfield which was clearly weakened in the team’s 0-2 loss to Nam Định in the National Cup two week ago,
After their defeat, manager Nguyễn Tấn Anh said winning and losing in football is normal but the lessons need to be learned ahead of the V.League 1.
Coach Lee Tae-hoon is concerned the weather in the capital is different to what his team are used to in Pleiku, but the players arrived in Hà Nội on Wednesday to give them time to acclimatise.
Meanwhile Hà Nội have not solved their defensive problems and are still without national defender Đỗ Duy Mạnh while Trần Đình Trọng needs more time to integrate with the team after long time absent through injury.
Coach Chu Đình Nghiêm is careful when talking about his rival team.
“Playing against Hoàng Anh Gia Lai is always difficult. They have two good matches before the league was suspended. They have foreigners in all three lines and they create equal power and solid wall against us.
“Hà Nội have practised hard for this match. We will learn what Nam Định did to apply in this game and hope that playing at home will be our advantage and we will get a good result.
Skipper Nguyễn Văn Quyết added: “[Against Hoàng Anh Gia Lai] it will be a difficult game and it is difficult to get back to match fitness after such a long break, but luckily we are at home and that can help us achieve a positive result."
“The fact that fans can come to the stadium and cheer us on not only encourages the team but also creates a great atmosphere, so I hope after this long break the supporters will come back and cheer their favourite team.”
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai are currently third in the league with one win and one loss. They are five places higher than Hà Nội who have same points, but an inferior goal difference.
In the last five seasons, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai have not won at Hàng Đẫy. In their latest meeting last year, the teams fought out a 1-1 draw.
Other matches on Saturday are between two former champions Sông Lam Nghệ An and SHB Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam FC and Thanh Hóa, and Quảng Ninh and Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh. — VNS