Southeast Asia Vietnam

TSC Backa Topola Duo Reunited in Hanoi

V.League 1 giants Hanoi FC have completed their squad for the 2022 season with the signing of Serbian striker Vladimir Siladi. Siladi will be rejoining his former TSC Backa Topola teammate Duro Zec at the Hang Day Stadium, with the fellow Serb having joined the Capital Team earlier this year.

The 2019/20 Serbian Superliga season saw the rise of Backa Topola, who were promoted into the Serbian top flight only the year before. Underneath the guidance of the late Zoltan Tsabo, Backa Topola shocked the league and finished 4th at the end of the season, just below the established trio of Serbian football in the form of Red Star Belgrade, Partizan Belgrade, and Vojvodina.

Key players from that season include Siladi, Nenad Lukic, and Zec, with both Siladi and Lukic scoring 16 times that season while Zec, who joined Backa Topola midway through the 2019/20 campaign from Napredak Krusevac, pitched in too with five goals – adding to the four goals that he had scored earlier in the season with Napredak.

Both Siladi and Zec also featured in Backa Topola’s maiden Europa League campaign the following season, which saw the Serbs being eliminated on penalties by Romanian giants FCSB after a thrilling 6-6 draw, however, Siladi left shortly for K-League 1 side Gangwon FC.

Zec remained at Backa Topola throughout the 2020/21 campaign, scoring 10 times, before bagging six goals in the 2021/22 season prior to his mid-season switch to Hanoi.

Hanoi were looking to replace both Bruno Cantanhede and Geovane, with the Brazilian duo leaving the Capital Team following the cancellation of the 2021 V.League 1 season. Bruno has since moved to Persib Bandung in Indonesia, while Geovane switched allegiances to Hanoi’s city rivals Viettel FC for the 2022 campaign.

Zec’s prowess in front of goal for Backa Topola has attracted the attention of Hanoi, who were seeking someone to lead the line to succeed both Bruno and Geovane, and he was promptly swooped up and handed the task of leading Hanoi’s attack for the 2022 season.

And while Zec was denied his Hanoi debut – a COVID-19 outbreak in the Capital Team’s squad has forced the league to postpone Hanoi’s first three matches of the 2022 season – the men in purple’s squad were further enhanced in terms of firepower with the arrival of Siladi this week.

Siladi was used sparingly during his tenure in South Korea, scoring only three times from 18 matches, and he’s eager to regain his shooting boots in Vietnam.

Siladi and Zec’s shared background, along with the fact that they had played alongside each other earlier in their careers, meant that the chemistry between the two Serbs is undeniably close. This could play well in Hanoi’s favor as they could have a devastating attacking duo in their hands, which would surely aid them in their quest for the V.League 1 title.

With no signs of any further postponements, both Siladi and Zec could make their Hanoi debuts this Saturday as they host Ho Chi Minh City FC at the Hang Day Stadium.