Tuesday , July 16 2024

Asian Cup winner to coach Hanoi FC


Hanoi FC will announce the signing of Japan’s Daiki Iwamasa, who won the 2011 Asian Cup, as the new head coach this weekend.

Daiki Iwamasa as the head coach of Japanese club Kashima Antlers. Photo by Kashima Antlers

Daiki Iwamasa as the head coach of Japanese club Kashima Antlers. Photo by Kashima Antlers

Iwamasa has agreed to the terms and had a final discussion with Hanoi FC before signing the official contract and making his introduction on Saturday.

The contract between Hanoi and Iwamasa is valid until the end of this season and will be extended if the Japanese coach can help Hanoi compete for the V. League and National Cup titles.

Iwamasa will have five weeks to get acquainted with Hanoi as the club play three friendly matches against Cong An Ha Noi, Bali United (Indonesia) and Daejeon Hana Citizen (South Korea) from Jan. 22 to 29. The away game against Thanh Hoa FC will be his debut game in the V. League.

Born in 1982, Iwamasa spent his youth football career at Iwakuni High School then Tokyo Gakugei University. In 2004, he joined Kashima Antlers and became a mainstay until 2013, with 290 matches, 35 goals and three J1 League titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

He also won two Emperor’s Cup titles (2007, 2010), two J. League Cup titles (2011, 2012) and two Japanese Super Cup titles (2009, 2010).

He played for the Japan national team from 2009-2011. He was part of the Japan team that won the 2011 Asian Cup, where he played four matches.

In 2014, Iwamasa joined Thai club BEC Tero Sasana. In 2015, he returned to Japan to play in the lower division for Fagiano Okayama and Tokyo United, then retired in 2018.

After becoming a coach, Iwamasa made his mark during his spell at Kashima Antlers, helping the club finish fourth and fifth in the J1 League in 2022 and 2023.

Before appointing Iwamasa, Hanoi let coach Dinh The Nam return as director of their youth football training center. This is the third time the capital club have changed their head coach this season.

They sacked coach Bozidar Bandovic in October last year after two heavy defeats to Pohang Steelers and Urawa Red Diamonds in the AFC Champions League. Assistant coach Le Duc Tuan became an interim coach and lost two matches in a row, prompting Hanoi to appoint Nam.

Under Nam’s lead at the AFC Champions League, Hanoi beat Wuhan Three Towns 2-1, lost 2-0 to Pohang Steelers and had a shock win 2-1 win against defending champions Urawa Red Diamonds.

However, the club still exited the AFC Champions League group stage after finishing third with six points. In V. League, Hanoi FC won three, drew one and lost three.

Hanoi are eighth in the 2023-2024 V-League with 10 points, nine points behind top team Nam Dinh.

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