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Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh eye more success with coach Đức




Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh are expected to shine in this year’s football season under coach Phạm Minh Đức. — Photo


HÀ NỘI — After a successful 2020 season, Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh have set their sights on a top-six finished in the V.League 1 this year under coach Phạm Minh Đức.

Đức, 44, led the team to a surprising top-eight finish in their first season in the top-flight league

“I am very fond of the fighting spirit of Hà Tĩnh players under young coach Đức who has a special personality with the spirit of respect for the rules of the match,” said pundit Đoàn Minh Xương.

“Hà Tĩnh had no stars, but they were always a very strong opponent because of their good discipline in play. Đức himself infused his players with a strong will and effort in every match,” Xương added.

The league last year was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and some top football figures called for the season to be scrapped, but Đức never waivered.

“Personally, I appreciate Đức’s ability to lead the team, more importantly, he always respects the rules and teach his players to play fair,” said Xương.

Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh players train to prepare for the upcoming matches. — Photo


Đức loved football since he was a small boy in Hà Đông town in the western district of Hà Nội. He quickly impressed with his agility, skill, bravery and particularly his sense of fair play.

Following his talent, Đức soon became a part of the Hà Nội Public Security Club and emerged as one of the best defenders in Vietnamese football.

Đức then played for Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), Quảng Nam, Thể Công, Bình Dương and Hà Nội T&T. He won five  V.League 1 championships with three different teams: HAGL, Bình Dương and Hà Nội T&T.

In 2016, Đức was named Hà Nội T&T head coach replacing Phan Thanh Hùng. However, after a series of poor results, he resigned, ceding his position to his assistant Chu Đình Nghiêm.

After that, he coached Hà Nội B team (now Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh).

In the V.League 2 in 2018, Hà Nội B ranked second after 18 matches. Following that season, Hà Nội B changed their name to Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh.

In the 2019 season, the team topped the V.League 2 with 53 points, 13 points higher than the second-ranked team, Phố Hiến, and won a spot in the V.League 1 for 2020.

Phạm Minh Đức led U21 Hà Nội T&T to triumph in the National U21 Football Championship 2015. — Photo


Although Hà Tĩnh lost to Quảng Ninh in the first match of this season on Sunday, they still have bags of confidence.

“I will tighten discipline, but at the same time trust my players. I also tell them that they always have to strive and results will come. My players have tried and matured through each match. We always have meetings and fix each other during training sessions,” Đức said.

“I understand young players and give them the confidence to improve. For me, a young player who plays enthusiastically is more valuable than an experienced player who does not use all of his experience. With a famous player who does not comply with the coach’s tactics, the coach has no value in that match.

“My players are rarely mentally challenged. They are still young, so their thinking and techniques maybe are a little hasty. However, mentally, Hà Tĩnh are not afraid of any opponents, whether they play in the V.League 2 or V.League 1.  



Vietnamese shooters aim for two main targets in 2021



Vietnamese shooters aim for two main targets in 2021

Olympic medalist Hoang Xuan Vinh practices shooting. Photo courtesy of the International Shooting Sport Federation.

The Vietnam national shooting team has set two main goals for Olympics Tokyo and SEA Games 31 this year.

“The team will try to fulfill a mission, that is qualifying for all Olympic shooting categories this year,” Nguyen Thi Nhung, vice chairman of Vietnam Shooting Federation (VSF) and head coach of the national shooting team, told media.

“In addition, we will propose to add some Asian Games shooting categories to SEA Games 31. Although these categories are not our strength, we want to ensure fair competition between shooters across Southeast Asia,” she added.

Nhung confirmed Vietnam aims to foster the next generation of elite national team shooters at SEA Games 31, which will be hosted by Vietnam in November, instead of solely relying on veterans, hoping to enter bigger contests like Asian Games and the Olympics.

This is one reason why veteran shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh will not compete at SEA Games 31. The 45-year-old will instead focus on qualifying for Olympics Tokyo. Another veteran shooter, Tran Quoc Cuong, might also skip the biennial games to be held in Vietnam later this year.

Vinh participated in 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, winning gold at the latter in the 10-meter air pistol and silver in the 50-meter pistol events, becoming the first-ever Vietnamese to win an Olympic gold medal.

The absence of Vinh could cause certain difficulties for the national shooting team on the path to clinching SEA Games gold.

To prepare for 2021, VSF hosted many top tournaments across the country last year to create opportunities for athletes to train and improve, as well as for coaches to assess and evaluate the shooter quality. Throughout national tournaments, key national team shooters proved they remain in great form following good results.


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French films will be broadly screened in Vietnam



Vietnamese audiences will have chance to watch seven bespoke classic and modern French films that will be screened in 11 cities and provinces nationwide in 2021.

French films will be broadly screened in Vietnam

“A Man and a Woman” (French: Un homme et une femme) is a 1966 French film written and directed by Claude Lelouch and starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has granted permission to screen French films in Vietnam for the year of 2021.

The seven films are “I’m Looking for Myself”, “A Man and a Woman”, “The Princess with Donkey’s Skin”, “Girls in Rochefort City”, “Can Artificial Intelligence Outperform Humans?” “Living with Robots” and “The Journey of Brain Creating”.

The films will be screened in 11 cities and provinces nationwide, including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Lao Cai, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, and Can Tho.

The ministry also noted that screenings will only take place once the Covid-19 pandemic is fully brought under control in localities. In addition, relevant preventive measures must also be strictly observed.

Visit for detail information about the films and accurate screening time.



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Struggling giants Hà Nội FC hope COVID-19 break gives them a lift



Hà Nội FC midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải (centre) and teammates are working hard for the return of the V.League 1 tournament after a three-week rest due to COVID-19. Photo

HÀ NỘI — The enforced rest due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have been a boon for the country’s two best-supported teams Hà Nội FC and Hoàng Anh Gia Lai ahead of the mid-March restart.

Hà Nội are rooted to the bottom of the table with two losses in two matches, a shock for the five-time champions.

“We did not have a good start with two defeats. We will have to prepare carefully for every coming match and play well because of the tough format of the tournament,” said coach Chu Đình Nghiêm.

“Our target is the top six first, then we could vie for the title in the second period,” he said.

After the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, Nghiêm and his players all tested negative for the coronavirus and returned to training.

They have also welcomed the return of key defenders Trần Đình Trọng and Đỗ Duy Mạnh after recovery from injuries.

“They both can follow the teams’ training plan. It is a good sign for all of us,” Nghiêm told reporters.

He also said that midfielder Moses Oloya who could not play in the previous matches due to a leg injury will be back in action.

Speaking with media, star midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải is excited to play again soon.

“I really hope the pandemic is controlled well for the return of competitions. My club is struggling and under heavy pressure (after losses). We will have to overcome challenges to find ourselves,” he said.

“No one is happy with a loss of course, but we can learn about ourselves from it. We will stand up from where we collapsed and fight back strongly. Nothing could force us to give up our initial target of winning the V.League 1 title and it would be more wonderful if we could conquer the AFC Cup too,” he added.

Hà Nội, which recently extended defender Trần Văn Kiên’s contract to 2023, are now seeking opponents for friendly matches in the coming days.

They will visit Hải Phòng FC at Lạch Tray Stadium on March 13 when the league restarts.

Time for deep understanding

Thai coach Kiatisuk Senamuang of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai believes he understands his players better thanks to the extra preparation time the COVID-19 pause gave them.

“The postponement came reluctantly but personally I think it is good for teams with more time for preparing. I am closer with the players when spending more time with them in both training and daily activities,” he said.

He said the first two rounds of fixtures were like a pre-V.League 1 tournament for teams to test their line-ups, personnel and tactics.

“My players are happy to play again in the next few weeks and grab the best results. We want to take the championship trophy,” said the Thai football legend.

After two matches, Senamuang experienced one win and one loss which put his team in ninth position.

Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will host Topenland Bình Định on home turf on March 14 and Senamuang hopes to have the stands packed with fans.

In that match, the hosts will face their former striker Rimario Gordonwho failed to score a single goal in 10 matches for HAGL in the 2018 season but netted a solid goal return for Thanh Hóa and Hà Nội before signing a contract with Bình Định this year.

Gordon has scored one goal in two matches this season and is keen to punish his former team.

Speaking about his team’s preparation, Bình Định coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng said: “Following the new schedule, teams must play in tougher time table (three matches in 10 days). It requires strong physique from players, then teams in general and Bình Định, in particular, must have their own plan to make sure players’ best conditions and avoid injuries.”

Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will play a friendly match with V.League 2 side People’s Police while Bình Định will play V.League 2 Khánh Hòa in Nha Trang before their match in the Central Highlands’ Pleiku City.

Other matches will be between SHB Đà Nẵng and Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh on March 13, Quảng Ninh and HCM City and Viettel and Becamex Bình Dương on March 14.

The league organisers, the Việt Nam Professional Football Joint Stock Company (VPF), has only rescheduled 10 rounds of fixtures for the first half of the league season.

The league will pause again in mid-April when players are summoned for the national teams and some clubs take part in continental competitions.

The season will resume in July and is expected to end in September.

The V.League 2 matches will begin on March 19 while the National Cup will start in April with the exact date being confirmed later.

Local authorities will decide if supporters are allowed to attend matches. —


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