Le Tan Tai: Early goal would boost us
Hanoi: Le Tan Tai believes that an early goal would give Becamex Binh Duong the belief they need to overcome Hanoi FC as the domestic rivals prepare to face off in the second leg of the 2019 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Final on Wednesday.
Binh Duong arrived in the Vietnamese capital shortly after losing the first leg 1-0 in Thu Dau Mot City last week and subsequently suffered a 2-1 defeat in the V.League on Saturday, meaning they will be hoping it’s third time lucky at Hang Day Stadium.
Hanoi already have the advantage of Nguyen Van Quyet’s away goal, but should Binh Duong get on the scoresheet at any time on Wednesday then considerable pressure would be on the hosts and a nervy evening could ensue.
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“Losing the first game was a real disadvantage so we have to go into the next game with a strong mentality, prepare well and have spirit,” said former Vietnam international Tan Tai.
“We have to try our best and not think too much about the first leg. We have had to play against them three times in eight days, so the coaching staff must think about the right tactics to get a positive result.
“If we can score an early goal it will give us a boost and we’re hoping to be able to take our chances.”
Having been at the club since 2014, Tan Tai was part of the last side to win the V.Leaguas the club claimed back-to-back title successes in 2014 and 2015.
Since then, Hanoi have developed into the strongest team in the Southeast Asian country and have lifted two of the past three domestic championships with a squad full of young Vietnam internationals.
Although Binh Duong got the better of their rivals in the 2018 Vietnamese Cup, the capital city side have undoubtedly had the upper hand in recent years.
“I think that Hanoi have many good players and their young players are very talented,” noted Tan Tai. “They have good foreigners too and the team have played together for a long time, so we can say that they are better than us.
“But we have had to play many matches of late and, after so many games, most of the key players were tired. The bad weather also affected our way of playing."
While many of Hanoi’s young squad have been part of Vietnam teams that grabbed headlines by coming runners-up at the AFC U23 Championship China 2018, winning the 2018 AFF Championship and reaching the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 last eight, Binh Duong also boast youthful talent within their ranks.
Defender Ho Tan Tai and forward Nguyen Tien Linh (pictured above), both 21, have been part of recent squads, while right-back To Van Vu, slightly older at 25, has also been tipped for the national team.
“I have a lot of experience of international and important matches so I can give the young players advice, such as to remain calm but be confident in order to achieve the best results.” added Tan Tai.
“We have many young players and some of them are really improving, but they still have a lot to learn to reach their potential in the future.”
Photos: Becamex Binh Duong
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