V. League club fires Italian coach after tepid performance

By Nam Anh   June 7, 2020 | 08:34 pm PT
V. League club fires Italian coach after tepid performance
Fabio Lopez in his last game coaching Thanh Hoa FC on June 6, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Nam Anh.
The Thanh Hoa FC decided Sunday to end their contract with Italian coach Fabio Lopez after the club’s disappointing run.

"We have to replace our coach. Procedures are being processed," said Thanh Hoa FC owner Nguyen Van De.

The club signed up with Fabio Lopez before the season started this year. With the experience of coaching reserve teams at Italian clubs like AS Roma and ACF Fiorentina, Lopez was expected to help Thanh Hoa play better than they did last season, where they struggled in the regelation zone. But the result has stayed the same this season.

Thanh Hoa dropped to the bottom of the V. League 1 table after losing 1-2 to Than Quang Ninh in their third match of the 2020 season on Saturday. The club has not earned a single point, having lost all three games of the season, with the latest defeat following those against Hai Phong FC and HCMC FC.

At the National Cup, Thanh Hoa beat Pho Hien at the qualification round with a late goal in stoppage time. In the next round, they were disqualified after losing 0-1 to Becamex Binh Duong.

Thanh Hoa has found a replacement for Lopez. Coach Nguyen Thanh Cong has reached an agreement with Thanh Hoa and will sign a contract with the club next week.

Cong used to work as an assistant coach at Song Lam Nghe An and managed Saigon FC creditably in their V. League 1 performance. After parting ways with Sai Gon for personal reasons, Cong received coaching offers from several clubs in the league, but had not taken up any.

In the past 12 months, Thanh Hoa has replaced four different coaches, but their results have not improved. This "record" had been set first in 2011 when Dong Tam Long An also replaced four coaches and still ended up getting relegated at the end of the season.

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