21 October 2009

Binh Duong to make history ?

Binh Duong won the first leg of their semi-final clash 2-1 at Go Dau. That means the Vietnamese side will go into Wednesday's game knowing a draw will be enough to see them through to the final of AFC Cup 2009.

However, coach Mai Duc Chung is fully aware the size of the task his side face against Al Karamah, who have yet to lose at home in this year's competition, after failing to take advantage of their dominance in the first meeting.

"The second leg is always harder than the first match because it is decisive," he said.

"It is also important because the result of the first match is close, although we could have had a better result."

"I hope that we will be lucky on Wednesday as Al Karamah were lucky in the first leg," he added.

"We know that Al Karamah will have a good advantage and they are hard to beat at home."

Duc Chung, though, is confident his Binh Duong players can rise to the occasion.

"We are accustomed to playing big games and we must play with plenty of concentration," he stressed.

"Al Karamah are under big pressure while our players are eager to get a good result to qualify for the final."

Al Karamah coach Mohamad Kwid has called on his players to take advantage of last week's lucky escape in Vietnam and qualify for the final of the AFC Cup.

Kwid described the first-leg match as one of their worst performances of the season.

The 53-year-old feels his side are fortunate to still be in the tie but now expects them to prove more clinical in front of goal in the return at Khaled Ibn Al Waleed Stadium.

"We played one of our worst games in the first leg in Vietnam but the consolation is that we got a good result despite the defeat and the goal that we scored will help us a lot," said Kwid.

"I was not satisfied with the attacking display and we must be more efficient in front of goal. At the same time we must be careful because if they score a goal it will be costly for us and the players will be under pressure.

"A goal will be enough for us to qualify for the final but achieving this is not easy," he added.

"Binh Duong produced a good performance in the first leg and they have quality players like South African striker Philani."


It's gonna be a tense match for Binh Duong because clubs from West Asia often play a lot better at home. If Binh Duong manage to beat Al Karamah, they will be the first club of Southeast Asia (or East Asia in case South China lose) to play a final of AFC Cup.

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