Wednesday, 14/03/2018 10:22

Nghệ An’s young players to face Persija Jakarta

Song Lam Nghe An’s Pham Xuan Manh (left) kicks a ball during Song Lam Nghe An vs Persija Jakarta match on March 6 in Vinh. The two teams will play each other again today in Jakarta. — Photo
Viet Nam News


HA NOI — Song Lam Nghe An will rest most of their best players when they meet Persija Jakarta in the second-leg Group H match of the Asian Football Confederation Cup today.

Coach Nguyen Duc Thang took only 16 players to Indonesia on Monday. Captain Que Ngoc Hai, national U23 midfielder Phan Van Duc and foreign striker Michael Olaha stayed at home.

Thang said he wanted these players to rest after working hard in four matches in a row in both domestic and continental competitions. Song Lam Nghe An will need their energy for three tournaments this season, and Thang does not have many substitutes to replace his key players in case of injuries or fines.

Thang said it would also be an opportunity for the young players to experience international competition to sharpen their skills.

Song Lam Nghe An currently have seven points and top the group. They have high chances of advancing to the next round and will have an official slot in the next stage if they beat Persija Jarkarta, who drew them 0-0 in the first-leg match in Vinh City last week.

Song Lam Nghe An are the only Southeast Asian team in the tournament who have not suffered any loss after three matches.

Persija Jakarta, meanwhile, are at the third place with four points.

Playing on their “holy land” at the 76,000-seater Gelora Bungkarno Stadium, the Indonesian side will receive strong encouragement from local supporters. Persija Jakarta have lifted the Liga 1 trophy nine times. Formerly known as the Indonesia Super League, Liga 1 is the highest-level professional competition in the country.

The match will start at 6.30pm and will be telecast live on Fox Sport.

Another match of the group will take place between Johor Darul Ta’zim of Malaysia and Tampines Rover FC of Singapore in Johor Bahru at 8.45pm. — VNS


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