2019 Wake-up 247 V.League 1 review

Full of surprise after first three matchdays at 2019 V.League 1

Wednesday, 2019-03-13 10:37:17
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Ho Chi Minh City earn a good start at V.League 1 this season with three wins in a row after the first three matchdays. (Photo: V.League)
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NDO – After three first three rounds of the new season, the 2019 Wake-up 247 V.League 1 has temporarily taken about a month off for the U23 national team summon, preparing for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualifier, scheduled for Hanoi at the end of March. Although they took place in a short time, the first three matchdays in V.League 1 witnessed multiple surprises and positive signals.

According to statistics from the organisers, there were 171,000 spectators coming to the stadiums in the national top-level league to watch their home teams played, averaging 10,000 people per game. Successfully claimed their slot to stay in the Vietnamese top flight after the relegation play-off match in the 2018 season, Nam Dinh FC then received their new sponsor and changed their name to Nam Ha Pharma Nam Dinh. The Nam Dinh-based team continue to receive strong support from their home fans in the northern province of Nam Dinh when playing in Thien Truong Stadium, which witnessed the largest number of viewers compared to many other stadiums across the country.

Nam Dinh FC players pose for a group photo. (Photo: V.League)

Hanoi-based Hang Day Stadium, the home field of Hanoi FC, also welcomed a large number of fans. Meanwhile, it is noteworthy that there were matches such as when Hanoi FC played guests to Quang Nam FC in Tam Ky Stadium, attracting record number of viewers with up to 14,000 people. Some fields like Cam Pha or Pleiku also often saw quite a large audience.

Before the kick-start of the new season, the V.League clubs has focused on improving the technical facilities in their stadiums and promoting communication and marketing to attract audiences and sponsors for the teams. They also paid attention to strengthening their squads with the presence of many young players from their own training facilities, while also seeking for both domestic and foreign players, making the transfer market quite blooming, attracting the public attention.

The number of spectators coming to the field at this year’s V.League 1 is still quite high. (Photo: V.League)

Surprisingly, after the first three rounds, Ho Chi Minh City FC proved their strength as they take the top spot in the league with three wins, winning the maximum nine points, while reigning champions Hanoi FC earned two wins and one draw, ranked second with seven points, followed by Song Lam Nghe An also having seven points, but with unfavourable goal difference compared to Hanoi. Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN are temporarily standing at the bottom with zero point after matchday 3.

Ho Chi Minh City surpassing other prominent names to claim the table leaders is not out of expectations. Before the new season opening, the team invested heavily in changing their coaching staff and created a lot of fuss in the transfer market as they successfully recruited the best domestic players along with quality foreign ones, with an aim to achieve the highest ranking in the league.

These changes have brought outstanding achievements to the club based in the southern economic hub. Since the beginning of the season, their rookies such as Ngo Hoang Thinh, Joel Vinicius, Pham Van Thanh and Nguyen Thanh Thang have proved that they are worthy of the big money the club has spent on them with stable performance, contributing to the team’s three consecutive victories.

Hanoi FC (in purple) and Viettel players in action. (Photo: V.League)

Reigning champions Hanoi still show their remarkable strength with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Quang Ninh Coal in their opener. However, their instability was also soon revealed as in the matchday 2, coach Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side struggled to have a 1-1 away draw with Quang Nam despite fielding into their strongest squad.

Also unbeaten after three rounds, Song Lam Nghe An have created a big surprise when they entered the new season with many fluctuations, with limited budget while several key players were injured (goalkeeper Nguyen Manh and midfielder Phan Van Duc) or moved to another club (midfielder Que Ngoc Hai, midfielder Xuan Toan and goalkeeper Vu Hai).

Hai Phong and Saigon FC still retain their form as they get two victories with six points to create momentum in their upcoming matches, even in the opening rounds, Saigon suffered a badly 3-1 loss to Nam Dinh.

Fans were surprised by the poor performance of the last season's runners-up Thanh Hoa and third place Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN. Both are on the penultimate and the bottom position of the table, respectively, without a single victory yet.

The 2019 Wake-up 247 V.League rankings after the first three rounds.

There are ten rounds before the end of the 2019 V.League 1. Certainly, there will be changes given the teams have a month long break ahead to make timely adjustments.

The league will return with the first match of matchday 4 taking place between hosts QNK Quang Nam and visitors Quang Ninh Coal at Tam Ky Stadium, Quang Nam province, on April 5.