Daejeon Hana Citizen has been crowned champions of the BIDV Invitational Hana Play Cup.
Daejeon came from behind to win the ‘BIDV Invitational Hana Play Cup’ final against Viettel FC 2-1 with Leandro’s multi-goal performance at the Hang Dai Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam at 7:30 p.m. (KST) on Sunday. After winning the first match against Bali United (Indonesia) at the same venue on the 23rd with a 1-0 victory thanks to Kim Seung-dae’s goal, Daejeon pulled off a dramatic upset in the final, giving the team an encouraging preseason record. The Hana Play Cup was Daejeon’s first trophy.
The BIDV Invitational Hana Play Cup is a preseason tournament organized by Daejeon and hosted by Hana Bank and the Vietnam Investment Development Bank (BIDV), the largest bank in the country. When Daejeon chose Hanoi as its overseas training ground this winter, the team went beyond just training and sought to make international connections through soccer. The BIDV Invitational Hana Play Cup is the result. This is the first time a K League club has organized a preseason tournament.
In addition to Daejeon, four teams participated in the tournament, including Southeast Asia’s prestigious Hanoi FC, Viettel FC, and Bali United. Hanoi FC is considered a powerhouse in the V-League 1, Vietnam’s top division, with six championships and five runner-up finishes. Viettel FC is also a prestigious team with five titles in the Vietnamese league. Bali United is a club based in Gianyar, Indonesia, which won the 2019 and 2021-2022 seasons.
Before the match, head coach Lee Min-sung said, “It’s a friendly, but I think winning is important. It’s not something to be complacent about,” he said, “It doesn’t matter if the other team is weak or strong. It doesn’t matter if they are weak or strong. I emphasized that to the players before the match against Viettel.” “We’re still in the process of building our bodies, but if you’re a professional athlete, you have to show it through your actions. Even if it’s a friendly, it’s still a competition,” he said. “Besides, there’s a trophy on the line, and we’ll definitely go home with it.”
Daejeon played the best card he could in the final. They played a 4-2-3-1. Gong Min-hyun was on the top line, with Lee Hyun-sik, Kim Seung-dae, and Kim In-gyun in the second line. Joo Se-jong and Kim Han-seo were in the double defense. Park Jin-sung, Cho Yoo-min, Kim Hyun-woo, and Kang Yun-sung formed the back line, and Lee Chang-geun was in goal. On the bench were Leandro, Aaron, Oh Jae-seok, Im Duk-geun, and Kim Jun-bum.
Daejeon gained possession early on and pushed Viettel hard. Joo Sae-jong played a series of good passes in the middle. However, it was blocked by Viettel’s thick defense and did not lead to a shot. In the 23rd minute, Kim Seung-dae received a pass with his characteristic line breaking and scored a goal over the goalkeeper Key, but he was unfortunately ruled offside. In the 39th minute, Kim Seung-dae’s exquisite penetrating pass found Kim Han-seo. Kim was tripped by the opposing defense before facing the goalkeeper, but the referee allowed the play to continue. In the 40th minute, Kang Yoon-sung connected with a powerful right-footed shot from a loose ball on a corner kick, but it was blocked by the defense.
Daejeon made a change at the start of the second half. They took off Kim Han-seo and brought on Kim Jun-bum. The game remained the same as the first half. Daejeon continued to pound Viettel, but no good chances came. In the ninth minute of the second half, Park Jin-sung sent in a cross from the left and Kim In-gyun jumped in to head it in, but it didn’t go in. In the 11th minute, Daejeon made another change as the game remained unresolved. Gong Min-hyun took off Joo Se-jong and brought on Leandro and Lim Yoo-seok. Leandro broke down the left side and tried two cutbacks, but both lacked the finishing touch.
Viettel fought back. In the 22nd minute, a sharp cross from the left was met with a header and deflected behind. Kurt van Caen tried a no-mark volley, but it didn’t go in. With momentum on their side, Viettel took the lead. In the 24th minute, on a counterattack, Viettel broke down the right and cut back. Nguyen Cong Phuong picked up the ball in front of the arc and calmly fired a right-footed shot past Lee Chang-geun.
Daejeon equalized a minute later. Kim In-gyun sent in a cross from the left that Leandro dived to finish. The equalizer ignited the game. In the 28th minute, Viettel made a nice pass from the right side to get inside the penalty box. Kim Hyun-woo brought down his opponent in the process. The referee awarded a penalty kick. However, Nguyen Hoang Duc’s kick went over the crossbar.
Daejeon turned the game on its head. Once again, it was Leandro who came through. In the 21st minute, Leandro dived into the backfield and delivered an exquisite roving pass to Cho Yoo-min. Leandro tried to shoot over the outstretched goalkeeper, and it rattled the Viettel net. Daejeon took off Kim Hyun-woo and Lim Yoo-seok in the 35th minute and introduced Aaron and Lee Dong-won. Daejeon added Oh Jae-seok, Song Chang-seok, Yoon Do-young, and Lim Deok-geun in the remaining minutes to add more strength and eventually seal the 2-1 victory.
After winning the Hana Playoffs, Daejeon doubled their joy as Leandro was named MVP and top scorer, while Lee Min-sung took home the coach’s award.