Professional performance pleases Calisto (04/05/2011)

Hanoi: Muang Thong United coach Henrique Calisto was satisfied with a professional job as a goalless draw against Hanoi T&T at Hang Day Stadium saw the Thais qualify for the last 16 of the AFC Cup.

Chances were at a premium in the Group G clash as the visitors produced a cautious display given it was Hanoi who realistically needed to win to stay in the competition. A focused defensive performance ensured Muang Thong left with the point they needed to progress to the knockout stage.

“This was a good game. We know that Hanoi T&T are a strong team on home soil while we did not need to win the game at all costs. Therefore my players slowed the game down and waited for the mistakes from Hanoi,” said Calisto.

“Datsakorn Thonglao, Phitchiphong Choeichit and Dagno Siaka fulfilled their duties well in midfield. In my opinion, Datsakron Thonglao on his own has outnumbered Hanoi's midfielders but he was not able to fire long-range shots.

“One point to me is more than enough for Muang Thong United to secure top spot in the group. We have to save our energy to play Tampines Rovers in our last match of the group phase as well as for our quest to defend the domestic crown.”

Calisto returned to Vietnam for the first time since resigning as coach of the national side but the 58-year-old Portuguese put aside personal feelings for the encounter.

“I myself has a good relationship with Hanoi coach Phan Thanh Hung. However, I have put all the affection aside when leading my players into the game,” he added.

“I also even told my players to play rough in the midfield to prevent Nguyen Ngoc Duy and Nguyen Van Quyet from performing.”

Hanoi now lie third on five points and are unlikely to progress.

However, boss Thanh Hung stressed they would still give everything in their final group game against Victory SC in the Maldives.

“I know that my players have done their best against Muang Thong United,” he said.

“The Thai side play disciplined football and it is hard for us to break down their well-organised defensive line.

“Nataporn Phanrit is still a leader in defence when he manages to stop all of our attacks outside the box.

“I feel sorry for Gonzalo Marronkle’s header. This was a very good header coming from a very good combination from the midfielders. This kind of combination was rare in this game as Muang Thong United did not leave us with enough space to handle the ball.

“Maybe the chance to get to the next round is finished for us but we still have one last game in the Maldives before the group stage ends. I think we should have a farewell victory against the Maldives side .”

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