Lee Min-sung hopes the Hana Playoffs will lead to a better tournament


“I hope the Hana Playoffs will lead to a better tournament.”

That’s what Daejeon Hana Citizen head coach Lee Min-seong hopes. Daejeon has been crowned champions of the BIDV Invitational Hana Play Cup. Daejeon came from behind to win the ‘BIDV Invitational Hana Play Cup’ final 2-1 against Viettel FC at Hang De Yi Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, at 7:30 p.m. KST on Sunday, led by Leandro’s multi-goal performance. In the first match against Bali United (Indonesia) at the same venue on the 23rd, Daejeon won 1-0 thanks to Kim Seung-dae’s goal to reach the final, and then 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 the final, Daejeon was unable to create any chances in the first half against the opponent’s tight defense. To make matters worse, they conceded a late goal to Cong Phuong, but Leandro, who came on as a substitute, scored the equalizer and then exploded for the comeback victory. Speaking at the post-match press conference, Lee said: “We had a difficult time after conceding the first goal, but it is significant that we overcame the crisis. We will work on the areas we need to improve before the league starts and play better in the league.” “Overall, we didn’t win the numbers battle in the buildup. We didn’t find the free man. We conceded goals due to bad passes, which is something we need to work on and improve.”

On his opponent Viettel, he said, “Southeast Asian soccer has improved a lot, as it did in the Asian Cup. You don’t see many teams like this anymore. The technical part has improved a lot. They were better than us in some areas. I think our players were inspired. They were good players.”

He expressed his satisfaction with the BIDV Invitational Hana Play Cup. “When we were preparing for this tournament, we didn’t think about what to do, but rather how to shape the team according to the league. It was a process of testing various players. I would like to thank the chairman for the experience of such a tournament, and I hope that if this tournament continues, it will lead to a better tournament in terms of a good preseason and an opportunity to be with the fans and promote the parent group.”

“We haven’t had 100% new players yet. It’s hard to judge. Lee Soon-min is in the national team, and we haven’t brought in any foreigners yet, so our strategy and tactics will be finalized then.” “In Vietnam, we combined physicality and tactics. It must have been hard for the players, but I’m grateful that they didn’t give up. In Kagoshima, we will enter the real battle. I think it will be harder mentally than physically now.”

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