V.League preview: Hanoi FC aim for first win at Sanna Khanh Hoa in five games

Friday, 2019-04-12 17:16:31
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Hanoi FC midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai has rediscovered the feeling of scoring in the matchday 4 of the 2019 V.League. (Photo: VPF)
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NDO – Reigning champions Hanoi FC will travel to Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN tonight (April 12) for matchday 5 of the 2019 V.League, with the ultimate goal of bagging the full three points at a stadium where they have failed to manage a win in the last four meetings.

By thrashing Song Lam Nghe An on matchday 4, manager Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side have officially returned to top spot of the table after losing their grip to Ho Chi Minh City for the opening rounds of the new season since their 2018 triumph.

More importantly, favourite midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai rediscovered the feeling of scoring with an unstoppable volley to make it 3-0 in the match, which worked to relieve the psychological pressure on him after three rounds of “silence” and add more strength to Hanoi’s offensive power.

Possessing a destructive attacking line-up of in-form forwards, such as Oseni Ganiyu, Van Quyet, Pape Omar and Hoang Vu Samson, together with Quang Hai having found his scoring rhythm again, Hanoi FC are now full of confidence towards achieving their first triumph in five games on Sanna Khanh Hoa’s home field.

Strong as they are, precaution will never be redundant for Chu Dinh Nghiem and his players, as they will face a Sanna Khanh Hoa side whose fighting spirit has been strongly boosted by their first win of the season against Nam Dinh FC last weekend.

The first-win joy and a positive home-field record against Hanoi FC (two wins and two draws) will be a big motivation for Vo Dinh Tan’s troops to head into the matchday 5 clash with the guests from the capital city.

Together with the stable form of Hanoi FC, Chung Hae-seong’s Ho Chi Minh City FC are emerging as a big surprise in this year’s season, remaining unbeaten after four matches and only behind the front-runners Hanoi FC on goal difference. Under the leadership of the Republic of Korea manager, the southern representatives have grown from a team struggling to avoid relegation last season into one of the odds-on title favourites this year.

Former champions Becamex Binh Duong (in blue) promise to be a tough challenge for HCM City’s ambition of extending their unbeaten league run. (Photo: VPF)

The matchday 5 trip to Becamex Binh Duong will be a real challenge for the title ambition of Chung and his HCM City players. Despite no longer being a big force in the V.League, Becamex Binh Duong are currently in good form following their two successive victories in the past few days. The home-field advantage and the return of forward Nguyen Tien Linh will be the weapons for manager Nguyen Thanh Son’s side to stamp out HCM City’s bid to extend their amazing league run.

After being promoted to the 2019 V.League, Viettel FC drew huge attention from domestic fans and experts. However, their troops delivered a bad start to the new season as they lost three of the four past matches regardless of some quality lineup supplements, including Que Ngoc Hai, Vu Minh Tuan and Bui Tien Dung, who are familiar well-known faces of Vietnamese football. With their performance far from matching the strong investments, Lee Heung-sil, more than anyone else, now realises the heat of the seat he is currently in charge of. Therefore, the home clash against Nam Dinh FC this weekend will be a great opportunity for the Republic of Korea manager to regain the trust of local fans. It will also be an important game for Nam Dinh as manager Nguyen Van Sy’s side recently underwent three consecutive matches without winning a single point. Speaking to the media ahead of the clash, the 48-year-old trainer did not hide his ambition of securing the points against the V.League newbies.

In the fifth round, Hoang Anh Gia Lai will take on Quang Ninh Coal on their home field. This promises to be a tough match for Van Toan and his teammates, as manager Phan Thanh Hung’s side are on a brilliant run going three games unbeaten with a clean sheet and seven points. The problem for Quang Ninh Coal is that they have a disappointing head-to-head record at Hoang Anh Gia Lai, suffering heavy defeats in their latest three trips to Pleiku stadium. This fact and the home-field advantage are expected to help the Gia Lai team put an end to their ongoing poor run to ignite their title hopes this season.

VAN TOAN