Photo from Hanoi FC Facebook Page
The club formerly known as Hanoi T&T has been one of the most dominant clubs in Vietnamese football, finishing no less than second for the last seven years in the top flight, winning it three times. Hanoi qualified to the AFC Cup as the 2016 champions of V.League 1 which also allowed them to participate in the preliminary rounds of the AFC Champions League (ACL). The club been participating in the ACL preliminaries and playoff the past few years but has always fell short of the group stage when facing tougher opposition in the final playoff match.
Vietnamese clubs have never dropped back to the AFC Cup after near misses in the ACL because of its higher ranking. It was only till this year when Hong Kong overtook Vietnam in the seeding which allowed the Vietnamese clubs to participate in the group stages of the AFC Cup.
The Hanoi club got a taste of Asian football when it met Kitchee in the preliminaries of the ACL last January. Hanoi FC was leading 1-0 ten minutes from time but Kitchee got back to force a win in extra time. The 2016 V.League 1 champions are currently third in the domestic table, just two points behind erstwhile Than Hoa, after being nicked by SHB Da Nang for a draw in their last match.
Players to Watch
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) employs a 3+1 foreign player rule where 3 Non-Asians and 1 Asian player can be included in the line-up of different clubs. This allows the development of local talent within the country and the continent.
#77 Alvaro Silva (Defender)
The Filipino-Spanish centerback has been in Asia for the last three seasons with stints in Kuwait and Korea before moving to Hanoi this season. Silva has played for the Azkals for a couple of games and has not returned since. The defender is tall and agile but chemistry with his new team is still an issue.
#20 Gonzalo Marronkle (Forward)
The Argentinean striker has been with Hanoi since 2009 and has figured in all of its recent success. This 32-year old is known for his goal scoring ability, aside from his height (1.92m), and is a threat from anywhere in the box.
#99 Loris Arnaud (Forward)
The French striker is a product of the PSG academy and has been a journeyman around France for the last few years. He is the third choice striker behind Gonzalo and Samson in Hanoi.
#8 Moses Oloya (Midfielder)
The Ugandan midfielder moved to Vietnam six years ago as a teenager and has since played in the country for five years and getting a stint in Russia in 2016. Now 24 years old, Oloya has signed for Hanoi and has been fighting for a slot in a very talented pool of midfielders. He is a versatile midfielder that can do both holding and attacking positions.
#10 Nquyen Van Quyet (Forward)
One of the most recognizable faces in Vietnamese football, Van Quyet is a mainstay of the National Team being one of the most talented attacking players in the country. He can play as a striker, winger, and attacking midfielder with a preference to the right side of the pitch. Still young at 25, this player is the perfect complement for Hanoi’s foreign born strikers.
#7 Pham Thanh Luong (Midfield)
Do not underestimate him for his size (1.61m), Than Luong has already helped his country win the AFF Cup at the tender age of 20 with his pace and lethal finishing. Now 28, the Vietnam national team veteran is still a thorn in the left side of the midfield because of his unpredictability and knack on goal.
#19 Nguyen Quang Hai (Midfielder)
Nguyen Quang Hai is the future of Vietnamese football. At 19 years of age, he has shown the quality of being a versatile attacker and a very intelligent footballer. He is deployed on the left flank to make use of his preferred left foot.
#36 Hoang Vu Samson (Forward)
The Nigerian-born player acquired his Vietnamese citizenship in 2013 which allows him to play as a local for Hanoi. Initially playing as a striker, Samson is flexible enough to play in the midfield in this loaded Hanoi attack. He has won scoring titles in V.League 1 and has the highest scoring percentage in the league in the last few years. He is tall, strong, fast, and has a very high rating in scoring awareness.
Possible Formation & First XI
Deep pool of players with low average age
Quality local players (National, U23, U19)
Familiarity of foreign attacking players (>5 years)
New foreign center back (Alvaro)
Poor run of form (Loss-Draw-Draw)
Overconfidence by Coaching Staff as seen on Champions League
Hanoi players in shape (7 games played)
Bad results means AFC Cup game is a must win
Cold Temperature in Hanoi
The Hanoi Coach will bring in his best 11 in response to the AFC Champions League defeat where he tried to use more young players in the match. He might not play the French striker (Arnaud) because of poor form and the presence of Gonzalo. The 20-year old player Duy Manh will be chosen over Moses in the defensive midfield as he is considered as one of Vietnam’s best at his tender age.
Hanoi plays 4-1-4-1 defensively but somehow transitions to a flexible 4-3-3 offensively. The left and right midfielders are all interchangeable, Quang Hai 19 and Thanh Luong 11 on the left can switch as winger and attacking mid at any time with each other. Van Quyet 11 and Samson 39 can also interchange with themselves on the right. Expect a lot of creativity and passing in the midfield as and Thanh Luong and Van Quyet are the best players in Vietnam for their position. The veterean players including Samson have the freedom to break formation and attack, Quang Hai is usually the one left behind just because he is the younger player but he is a threat from distance as well.
The back four are very quick and disciplined to a certain limit. Hanoi is very resilient in the first clearances in danger areas but they are still very shaky. Alvaro and Dai Dong still have a lack of understanding that the Ceres attack can score from. They are good in individual defense but the weakness in their partnership is the second ball, especially with Dai Dong. The two wingbacks are young and needs to be tested throughout the match.
Hanoi will be expected to go on an all-out attack because of their highly technical players and deep bench. If the team is not careful, it will be an early 2-0 lead for the hosts given their early start in the season. The visiting team must be precise in their finishing to get a goal as chances will be few.
No. Nationality Position Player Age Height National Team others
18 Vietnam GK Trần Anh Đức 25 1.8 –
30 Vietnam GK Nguyễn Văn Công 24 1.82 Vietnam U23
33 Vietnam GK Phí Minh Long 22 1.8 Vietnam
2 Vietnam DF Nguyễn Đại Đồng 30 – –
4 Vietnam DF Nguyễn Văn Dũng 22 1.74 Vietnam U21
5 Vietnam DF Nguyễn Văn Biển 31 1.73 Vietnam
7 Vietnam DF Sầm Ngọc Đức 24 1.7 Vietnam
13 Vietnam DF Trần Văn Kiên 20 – –
15 Vietnam DF Nguyễn Minh Hải 23 – Vietnam U20
16 Vietnam DF Nguyễn Thành Chung 19 – –
17 Vietnam DF Doan Van Hau 19 Vietnam U19
77 Philippines DF Álvaro Silva Linares 32 1.87 Azkals
89 Vietnam DF Đào Duy Khánh 23 1.83 Vietnam U23
6 Vietnam MF Đặng Văn Tới – – –
8 Uganda MF Moses Oloya 24 1.83 Russian League
11 Vietnam MF Phạm Thành Lương 28 1.61 Vietnam left + right
23 Vietnam MF Nguyễn Hải An 28 1.67 –
28 Vietnam MF Đỗ Duy Mạnh 20 1.8 Vietnam
29 Vietnam MF Phạm Đức Huy 22 1.73 Vietnam U23
74 Vietnam MF Trương Văn Thái Quý 19 1.71 Vietnam U19
88 Vietnam MF Đỗ Hùng Dũng – – Vietnam U23
9 Vietnam FW Phạm Văn Thành 22 1.75 Vietnam U21
10 Vietnam FW Nguyen Van Quyet 25 1.72 Vietnam right footed
19 Vietnam FW Nguyễn Quang Hải 19 1.64 Vietnam U23 left footed
20 Argentina FW Gonzalo Marronkle 32 1.92 Portugal League left footed
39 Vietnam FW Hoàng Vũ Samson 28 1.82 * Nigerian right footed
92 Vietnam FW Trịnh Duy Long – – –
98 Vietnam FW Hồ Minh Dĩ – – –
99 France FW Loris Arnaud 29 1.84