HAGL seek top-5 V.League fin­ish

Viet Nam News - - SPORT -

HAØ NOÄI — Team man­agers of Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai said they would try their best to fin­ish in the top five of the V.League com­pe­ti­tion.

The team was elim­i­nated from the Na­tional Cup on Tues­day.

Speak­ing to re­porters af­ter the loss, coach Döông Minh Ninh said: “Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai have not won the Na­tional Cup yet. We re­ally wanted to win it this sea­son. How­ever, now we have to fo­cus on the V.League and tar­get a top-five fin­ish.”

Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai, who rank ninth, will play against Caàn Thô, No. 5, in an eighth-round match at the Caàn Thô sta­dium to­mor­row.

Caàn Thô stand four places above Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai, but there is only a sin­gle point gap be­tween them. A win over the hosts will help two-time win­ner Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai im­prove their rank­ing and get closer to their goal.

Ñoaøn Nguyeân Ñöùc, owner of the Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai club, is con­fi­dent of his team’s abil­ity. He said his team, with many young play­ers trained by the club’s academy, was not an easy ri­val any­more.

“Their great per­for­mance is not a sur­prise. They have been play­ing well for a long time. They are get­ting bet­ter since we have had the South Korean tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor from the be­gin­ning of this sea­son. I be­lieve that V.League teams now have to re­serve our power. Play­ing with us will be chal­leng­ing,” Ñöùc said.

Their ri­val Caàn Thô are coached by Ñinh Hoàng Vinh, who used to work with Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai in the past which is why Caàn Thô have nearly the same play­ing style of short ball and pass­ing the ball quickly as Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai.

In an­other match of this round, Soâng Lam Ngheä An will have the chance to avenge their loss of 0-1 to Quaûng Nam in their Na­tional Su­per Cup match in Feb­ru­ary.

Soâng Lam Ngheä An are in a good po­si­tion af­ter two wins against SHB Ñaø Naüng at the Na­tional Cup’s quar­ter-fi­nals. Striker Hoà Tuaán Taøi and mid­fielder Phan Vaên Ñöùc have scored con­sec­u­tively.

They will be joined by key play­ers – Os­mar, Ngoïc Toaøn and Phuùc Tònh – who are ready to get back in ac­tion af­ter sus­tain­ing in­juries.

On the other side, Quaûng Nam are yet to de­liver their best. The reign­ing cham­pi­ons are at the 10th po­si­tion with eight points, just two points more than Soâng Lam Ngheä An at No. 13.

Their foreign striker, Dos Reis Claude­cir, and 2017 Golden Ball win­ner Ñinh Thanh Trung have not found their form.

Their poor per­for­mance led to their loss of 1-3 to Be­camex Bình Döông at the Na­tional Cup on Tues­day.

One of their hopes is that Quaûng Nam are a good team when play­ing on the home turf.

They won all three matches at the Tam Kyø sta­dium. Among the three teams, only Saøi Goøn could score a goal. FLC Thanh Hoùa lost 0-1 and Sanna Khaùnh Hoøa drew them 0-0.

Soâng Lam Ngheä An, who have only had a sin­gle match on away ground this sea­son, will be the fourth visi­tors to Tam Kyø.

Mean­while, Thanh Hoùa will face Quaûng Ninh Coal with con­fi­dence to­mor­row af­ter their Na­tional Cup win.

Coach Nguyeãn Ñöùc Thaéng is hop­ing for his first win since he took charge of the team last month.

Thanh Hoaù are at No. 7 and have not won three matches in a row.

Quaûng Ninh are sec­ond in rank­ing although many of the key play­ers left the team for other clubs ahead of the sea­son.

Mid­field­ers Nguyeãn Haûi Huy and Thanh Hieàn and striker Maïc Hoàng Quaân will not be able to play in the com­ing match as they are serv­ing a ban.

In other games, SHB Ñaø Naüng will face HCM City, Sanna Khaùnh Hoøa will meet Saøi Goøn, Be­camex Bình Döông will host Haûi Phoøng and Nam Ñònh will en­ter­tain Haø Noäi. — VNS

Five alive: Hoanø g Anh Gia Lai’s cap­tain Löông Xuanâ Tröônø g (left) seen com­pet­ing in the Na­tional Cup match on Tues­day. Hoaøng Anh Gia Lai will play Caàn Thô to­mor­row. — Photo an­nin­hthudo.vn

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