Hopes raised after Viettel FC’s first victory of V-League 2019

PANO � The Viettel Football Club (FC) has just had a 2-1 victory against Thanh Hoa FC, an experienced squad of Coach Duc Thang, on Hang Day Stadium. With their first victory of the 2019 V-League 1 (known as the Wake Up 247 V-League 1), young footballers of Coach Lee Heung-sil are expected to be more confident for the rest of the season.

Lessons from the 2016 season's play-off

On September 23, 2016, Viettel FC had a play-off with Long An FC on Chi Lang Stadium in Da Nang city. There was only a small group of us, Viettel's supporters, stood in the middle of hundreds of the rival's fans. We shouted ourselves hoarse each time when Van Hao, Trong Dai, or Van Tram challenged Long An goalkeeper Tien Anh.

It has been a relatively equal game for both teams. No goals were scored after the regulation game time and the knock-out went to the extra time. Tan Tai scored a goal for Long An at the forth extra minute of the first half. Viettel's players then strongly reacted but could not get an equalizer in the remaining time. The club missed the opportunity to advance to V-League 1.

That was a real sadness to us but we assuaged each other by thinking that Viettel players were still too young. The team's training board also admitted to fans that their players had not been ready to play at V-League 1. They needed more training to get ready for the highest division of the Vietnamese football.

First victory of the 2019 season

At the end of the 2018 season, the team of Coach Hai Bien clinched the Vietnamese National Football First League (V-League 2) championship and advanced to V-League 1. In preparation for the 2019 season, Viettel FC's management board recruited two foreign players: Paulo De Souza and Kayo Sanches Borges, and invited Korea's Lee Heung-sil to be the team's Head Coach. In the domestic transfer market, the club shocked other teams by winning the signatures of Que Ngoc Hai, captain of the Vietnam national football team, together with Vu Minh Tuan and Trong Hoang. They are among the best players that all Vietnamese football clubs want to have in their squads.

Young players of Viettel now play more confidently and strictly follow tactical instructions from the coaching board. Three players, namely Bui Tien Dung, Van Tram, and Duc Chien, improved much since their playoff with Long An FC nearly three years ago.

Particularly, Captain Bui Tien Dung, a right-footed player, well performed at his left-wing position and successfully blocked key striker Rimario in the game against Thanh Hoa FC. He also scored the second goal for his team and was selected as the man of the match.

Moreover, Coach Lee Heung-sil still has more choices for the next matches as Ngoc Hai and Trong Hoang are still on the bench.

Stress relief

No information was released about the fee and salary that the Viettel FC pays to Head Coach Lee Heung-sil. Definitely, the club's leadership hopes the Korean man will work as well as his fellow Coach Park Hang-seo at the national football team.

Apparently, Viettel players began their 2019 season with a 1-3 loss against SHB Da Nang FC. Then, they won the first victory over Thanh Hoa FC thanks to the players' courage and a bit of luck.

Although the club still has much work to do for the remaining time of the season, Viettel supporters like us hope the players would get on well with the fierce competitiveness of V-League 1 and fight hard in the rest of the season.

Source: People's Army Newspaper