Defending champs vow to persevere

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VietnamNet English - 49 month(s) ago 1 readings

Out-of-form Ha Noi T&T is determined to stop the rot when they take on other struggling team Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) at Hang Day stadium today in the early sixth round fixture of the national football championship, V-League.

Coach Phan Thanh Hung's title holders, who have suffered four consecutive defeats – three in the V-League and one in AFC Cup – desperately want to defeat DTLA to get the winning feeling back.

A win would also prove that the V-League title that Hung and his players won last year wasn't just a fluke and that they also have credentials in the AFC Cup.

A win would be a good preparation for the next AFC Cup match against Victory SC of Maldives; a game that could decide whether Hung's team progresses in the competition.

Second-bottom DTLA badly need a win to escape from the relegation zone. The team will be playing without the head coach as newly-signed coach Simon McMenemy will not be in charge until the March 20 game.

In tomorrow's matches, two-time champion Becamex Binh Duong, in spite of the suspension of influential midfielder Leandro, are expected to get full points when they host Lam Son Thanh Hoa at Binh Duong Stadium.

Navibank Sai Gon will have a tough job at the home ground when they face fierce opponent Khatoco Khanh Hoa, who is one point ahead of the HCM City-based team.

"It is always difficult to play against any team in the V-League. Khanh Hoa is a tough team and we will have to try our best," Navibank Sai Gon's head coach Mai Duc Chung said.

"We will have to play good football to return the fans' affections," said Chung commenting on the growing number of fans coming to Thong Nhat stadium in recent weeks.

Other weekend fixtures are Hai Phong vs Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Ha Noi ACB vs Dong Thap and Ninh Binh vs Hoa Phat Ha Noi.

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