15:43 02/02/2016
Hanoi T&T's young players will play Kitchee Sport Club of Hong Kong in the second preliminary round of the AFC Champions League at Hang Day Stadium on February 2.
Despite their loss to V.League champions Becamex Binh Duong in last week's National Super Cup because of six inexperienced members, Coach Phan Thanh Hung said he would continue to be patient with the youth.

"The young players are the club's future. Yes, they lack experience but they will grow up in time," Hung said at a press conference in Hanoi on February 1.

"We have to give them a chance so that they can replace their seniors in the future," he said.

Apart from young players of Hanoi T&T, the national runners-up will present their best line-up and hope to achieve success at the tournament, which is of a higher level compared to the local ones.

"We have achieved remarkable results at the V.League and the National Cup for years. Now we look forward to the better-quality events, including those organised by the AFC," Hung said.

"We want to play in continental competitions and win them. It will be difficult, but we do pay attention and will always try the best," he said.

Meanwhile, Coach Abraham Aliaga of Kitchee said the cold weather in Hanoi was not a problem with players from Hong Kong, who experienced the same weather last week in their home city.

Food and all other things were not a matter of concern for them ahead of the game.

Kitchee, who are a strong team with five national team players and four foreigners, are ready to play as they are the defending champions.

"I just have some information about Hanoi T&T. They are fast with good and strong players. But we are confident because we worked the whole season to be here today. We had a good result (beating South China 3-0 on January 30, the latest match of the Hong Kong Premier League)," the Spanish coach said.

Kitchee, the best known club in their home, have participated in the AFC event five times.

Their best result so far was a berth in the semi-finals of the AFC Cup in 2014.

The winner of the Hanoi T&T versus Kitchee match will advance to the play-off round, where they will face Pohang Steelers on February 9.

The play-off winner will secure a place in the group-round stage, beginning on February 23.

Vietnam's champions Becamex Binh Duong are in Group E, which has Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of the Republic of Korea and Jiangsu Suning from China.
Source: VNA


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