Duc Huy: We want to create history
Hanoi: Pham Duc Huy has admitted that Hanoi FC want to make history for Vietnamese football as they prepare to take on Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr in the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
Having overcome domestic rivals Becamex Binh Duong to be crowned ASEAN Zonal Champions, Hanoi have now produced the best-ever performance by a Vietnamese side in the AFC Cup.
But while midfielder Duc Huy admits he is satisfied with his side’s showing to date, the objective remains to go even deeper into the tournament and continue the upward trajectory than has been seen in the country over the past two years.
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“We want to put in a good performance for our fans and win the first game to give us an advantage for the second leg,” said Duc Huy.
"We are the champions of ASEAN, but I've faced the Turkmenistan national team and playing against a Central Asian opponent will be very tough. They play a quick style of football with good combinations and good technique, whereas I think it’s easier to face teams who play long ball.
“But we’re very happy to be at this stage. It’s the first time we’ve got so far in the AFC Cup and it motivates us to go further and create history for Vietnamese football.”
Like so many of his Hanoi teammates, Duc Huy has enjoyed a whirlwind couple of years in which he has shot to stardom in the Southeast Asian country.
The 24-year-old was part of the teams that finished runners-up at the AFC U23 Championship China 2018, won the AFF Championship later that year and then reached the last eight of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Such experiences can only help as the V.League side embark on new ground in Continental club football, starting with the clash against the 2018 AFC Cup runners-up at Hang Day Stadium.
“It’s very good to have so many young players because we have all grown up together in the youth teams,” added Duc Huy.
“But we’ve also been able to learn from the experienced players around us like Nguyen Van Quyet and Pham Thanh Luong. We really have a good team and most of us are still young.
“After the success of the national teams, our lives have changed a lot. Whenever we go out people recognise us, so that’s the biggest change. It makes us all very happy as people are aware of our dedication to Vietnamese football.”
One of the more experienced players Duc Huy referred to, Thanh Luong, has been at Hanoi since 2012 and has seen the club develop into one of the most successful teams in Vietnam.
The 30-year-old already boasts three league titles with the capital city club and this season they remain in the hunt on three fronts.
Hanoi currently sit five points clear in the V.League with five games to go, are in the semi-finals of the Vietnamese Cup and are eyeing a first Continental crown.
“Anything can happen in football but we’re very motivated to win every competition that we take part in, so we hope to do well in the three tournaments,” said vice-captain Thanh Luong of the treble possibility.
“Hanoi are a young club but we’ve made big steps forward in the last decade. We’ve won many big prizes but for me the first V.League title remains my most memorable experience.
“It’s difficult to compare that generation with the current one because football has changed. The team before was very good but now we have many talented young players.”
Photos: Hanoi FC
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