Phan Thanh Hung: We kept the ball as Pune FC are strong in the air

The coach of the Vietnamese side was pleased with the comfortable win over the Red Lizards…

Ha Noi T&T eased past Pune FC with a 3-0 win in the first round of the Asian Champions League (ACL) play-off on Wednesday at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune.

“Our team prepared very well for this game.  Today our players played according to the strategy and I am happy with the performance,” he said.

“Before the game, we tried to gather a lot of information about Pune FC. We knew the team is strong in the air, so I asked the players to play short-passes and keep the ball to control the game. We defended tight and attacked fast, as I would have liked,” he added.

While Pune FC coach Mike Snoei professes a ‘pass-and-move’ style of football, it was interesting that his counterpart suggested otherwise stating that they were ‘strong in the air’.

On being asked to explain further, he elaborated, “Most of the game, we tried to play ground passes, and also tried to make use of the corners and free-kicks. In the match, I liked the way Pune’s no 7 (Mustapha Riga) and number 11 (Douhou Pierre) were playing and I told my players to mark them. The players did that very well.”

He heaped praise on his Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Hector Hughten who scored a gem of a goal with the outside of his foot.

“Hector is our key player in the midfield. He has a good technique, good skills and plays smart football. I am happy with his performance.”

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