Becamex Binh Duong arrived in Japan yesterday to face hosts Kashiwa Reysol in the second match of the Asian Football Confederation Champions League’s Group E.
Although there was talk about the visitors’ definite loss here since Kashiwa Reysol are much better players, many Vietnamese players are still confident.
“We may be a little lacking when it comes to technique or tactics, but we are certainly not lacking when it comes to spirit,” said V.League 1 three-time Golden Ball winner Le Cong Vinh.
The Viet Nam national champions had little time to study their rivals, watching just two clips of Kashiwa Reysol’s latest matches.
According to coach Nguyen Thanh Son, Kashiwa Reysol have good players and some are foreigners who have a better grasp of the game.
He has asked the players to keep an eye on strikers Leandro Montera and Masato Kudo, left midfielder Cristiano da Silva, right defender Kim Chang-soo and especially captain Hidekazu Otani. These are the players who could pose a challenge to the Vietnamese squad.
Brazilian Montera has been playing in Asia since 2007 and scored 95 goals. At J-League 1 last year, he had 11 goals to his credit. Kudo, played under the club’s jersey since 2009, has 56 goals till date to his credit.
“It will be a difficult match. It is a fact that we cannot be compared to the Asian clubs. But competing with them will help us progress. My players will play at their peak,” said Son.
Binh Duong arrived at Chiba Prefecture with 20 players. Some of their main team members failed to make it into the squad because of injuries.
They have set a target of winning at least one point from the second match.
Cold weather here is also one obstacle. While it is really hot in the South of Viet Nam all year-round, the temperature in Japan is around 4-5oC currently.
However, there will be fans not only from Viet Nam but also Japan supporting this match at the Kashiwa Hitachi Stadium.
About 100 supporters of Kawasaki Frontale FC and staff of the Tokyu Group will back them up tomorrow.
In the first group round’s first match, Binh Duong lost 2-3 to Chinese Shandong Luneng. Meanwhile, Kashiwa Reysol shared a point with South Korean champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors after a 0-0 result.
Kashiwa Reysol ranked fourth in last year’s J. League. They advanced to the Champions League after beating Chonburi of Thailand in the play-offs.
The team do not have star players but created some hype when they returned to the J.League four years ago.
In 2011, they entered the semi-finals of the World Clubs Championships as the host team. Two years later they went pretty far in the Champions League’s semi-finals.
The match between two teams will be aired live on BTV2 and VTC3 channel from 6pm.
Another match of the group is between Jeonbuk Motors and hosts Shandong Luneng.