|Hanoi FC players celebrate their goal in the first leg with the DPRK’s April 25 Sports Club at the AFC Cup Inter-zonal Final at Hang Day Stadium (Photo: toquoc.vn)
The two sides drew 2-2 in the first leg at Hang Day Stadium in Hanoi on September 25.
ASEAN Zonal champions Hanoi need to beat their rivals who were East Zonal winners or finish with a high-scoring draw.
The team from the capital will feature the first Vietnamese side to play at the ground since a training session held by The Cong in 1968.
Hanoi's attack will feature Nguyen Van Quyet, Nguyen Quang Hai and Pape Omar Faye.
However, Hanoi will be without No 1 goalkeeper Nguyen Van Cong due to injury. Bui Tien Dung or Phi Minh Long will stand in for him having not featured much this season.
“Anything can happen in football. Hanoi’s strength lies in solidarity. I have high hopes we will complete our mission of defeating 4.25 SC and making it through to the next round,” said coach Chu Dinh Nghiem.
“Cong’s injury is a pity for the whole team. However, Long and I will try our best. Hanoi have arrived in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea determined to win. We will give more than 100 percent,” said goalie Dung.
According to defender Do Duy Manh, 4.25 SC are a strong team with good discipline and physical strength. Hanoi will have to overcome these difficulties if they want to get a good result.
“As a defender, it’s really tough to play against tall and powerful forwards, but we will have to stop them in the second leg,” said Manh.
Beating the DPRK side will be a tough task for Hanoi.
With two away goals in the bag, 4.25 SC will start the return meeting with an advantage. Moreover, since making their AFC Cup debut in 2017, 4.25 SC have played 14 games at home and have yet to taste defeat.
“We are looking to the home game; the first match was just the first step towards reaching the final,” said striker Kim Yu-song, who is the tournament’s joint second scorer with nine goals.
“Hanoi are very strong going forward, but we will have an advantage because our fans can help us win the game,” Kim added.
In their two previous AFC Cup appearances, 4.25 SC have reached the Inter-Zone semi-finals and the Inter-Zone Final. With a formidable home record and two away goals in the bag, O Yun-son’s side are confident of reaching the final.
However, with confidence after wrapping up a second successive V. League title and having not been beaten in more than four months, Hanoi are expected to make a splash in the DPRK.
The match will begin at 3pm (Hanoi time) today, but due to local rules, it won’t be broadcast live.