VietNamNet Bridge – V-League champions SHB Da Nang are the favourites to lift the National Super Cup when they meet last year’s National Cup winners Xuan Thanh Sai Gon Cement on Saturday.
Title shot: V-League champions SHB Da Nang are the favourites to lift the National Super Cup on Saturday when they face domestic Cup winners Xuan Thanh Sai Gon Cement.
The match will be held at Da Nang’s Chi Lang Stadium and the home advantage is expected to tip the tie in their favour, with thousands of fans certain to cheer the team on.
Coach Le Huynh Duc is confident while refusing to underestimate the challenge his team will face in the match.
“Xuan Thanh Sai Gon have talented players. They also crave the Cup. It is the first match of the season so it is difficult to predict what will happen. I just hope that playing at home will give my players confidence and help us raise our game,” he said.
The hosts will have to go without striker Mirolad Janjus who has failed to recover in time from a leg injury sustained last term. Meanwhile, their creative lynchpin Merlo Gaston struggled for form at the end of last season and Duc will be desperate for him to return to his best on Saturday. Tanzanian Danny David has been signed to play up front and ease the burden on Gaston.
The match will be Da Nang’s second Super Cup appearance. They were losing finalists in 2009 following a 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to Lam Son Thanh Hoa.
Xuan Thanh Sai Gon are playing in the fixture, which pits the league champions against the domestic cup victors, for the first time.
Tran Duy Ly from the VFF promised fans that the match would live up to expectations and said that organisers had selected the country’s finest referees to officiate the match.
He confirmed that money raised from ticket sale will be donated to the Da Nang Cancer Hospital.
The winner of the match, which is set to air on VTV channels, will take home a prize of VND200 million (US$9,600).
The Super Cup is now in its 14th year. Song Lam Nghe An are tournament specialists, having won the trophy four times, including the 2012 title. Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Becamex Binh Duong have won it two times each.