Vietnamese midfielder highlighted as one of the players to watch at the AFC Cup | Culture – Sports
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – The AFC Cup ASEAN zone will return to action on June 24, nearly two years after it was canceled in 2020, with eleven clubs from Southeast Asia battling for regional glory.
Before the start of the competitionthe AFC shed light on the Vietnamese midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc of Viettel FC and four other promising stars to watch as they try to help their clubs have a memorable run this season.
“A key member of the Viettel team and a regular for the Vietnam national team, Nguyen Hoang Duc has been one of the most talked about players in the Southeast Asian country in recent years and is expected to feature in the AFC Cup for the first time,” the website wrote of the 24-year-old.
A midfielder with an eye for goal, Duc helped Viettel win the V.League 1 title in 2020 and then featured in their maiden AFC Champions League campaign a year later, where he scored their first ever goal in the competition in what proved their first ever win.
“Having made his international debut in 2019, Duc featured in the Golden Star Warriors’ AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign and scored his first goal for his country in a 3-0 win against FC. Malaysia in the AFF (ASEAN Football League) Cup at the end of 2021.”
The Hai Duong province-born player helped Vietnam win their second SEA Games title last month. He is expected to follow compatriots Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyen Van Quyet as Vietnamese stars.
AFC also mentioned Bali United’s Ilija Spasojevic. The striker scored 23 goals in 34 games to finish as the Indonesian league’s top scorer for the first time last season, securing his team a return to the AFC Cup for the third time.
Spasojevic was twice on the scoresheet in the 2018 group stage before Bali were eliminated, while he added two more to his tally in the 2020 edition which was later canceled before the end of the group stage.
Striker Ronald Ngah joined Malaysia’s Kedah Darul Aman earlier this year and is expected to help his club perform well.
Ngah played for Al Salt and won the Jordanian Pro League top scorer award. In the West Zone of last year’s AFC Cup, he scored four goals in three games, including a hat-trick against Palestine’s Balata Central, to propel his team into the round of 16.
In the domestic Super League this season, Ngah, 30, found the back of the net seven times in nine games to sit second in the goalscoring table ahead of his return to continental competition.
Cambodian winger Keo Sokpheng of Visakha FC will make his AFC Cup debut at the age of 30 as he and Visakha venture into uncharted territory.
Sokpheng, 30, recently played for the Cambodian national team in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign, where he scored the equalizer to secure the Keisuke Honda-coached side a 2-2 draw against Afghanistan.
A football star for seven years, he won league titles at Boeung Ket FC and Phnom Penh Crown before joining Visakha in 2018 and winning the Hun Sen Cup last year.
The latest player to catch the attention of fans is Boris Kopitovic of the Singapore Tampines Rovers.
The 27-year-old striker came to Tampines Rovers in 2020 and he scored the winner in a 2-1 win over PSM Makassar before returning to the scoresheet as Tampines beat Shan United.
The Montenegrin tops the Singapore Premier League scoring charts with 12 goals.