V.League Review: Hanoi FC make history with early title

Monday, 2018-09-10 17:48:17
 Font Size:     |        Print

Hanoi FC are the first team to be crowned V.League champions with up to five games in hand.
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – The 21st round of the 2018 V.League last weekend saw Hanoi FC beat Song Lam Nghe An by two straight goals, thus making history as the first team to lift the trophy with up to five games in hand.

>>> Hanoi crowned champions of 2018 V-League

The early championship title was a well-deserved reward for the capital team following their amazing run since the beginning of the season, which has been made up of a series of impressive statistics.

Right from the early days of the 2018 V.League, fans could see the image of champions inside Hanoi FC on account of their nearly absolute power. The victory over Song Lam Nghe An was the 17th triumph for manager Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side so far this season. En route to the Sunday glory, the newly crowned title holders only lost one match and drew another three. As of the 21st round, Hanoi FC had scored the most goals among the total 14 participating clubs, 61, nearly doubling the figure scored by the team with the second most goals. Furthermore, they are also among the top three teams to concede the fewest goals so far in this year’s tournament.

Hoang Vu Samson staged an exceptional return in Hanoi FC’s resounding win against Song Lam Nghe An. The Vietnamese forward of Nigerian descent netted twice to see his goal tally in the 2018 V.League increased to 12, only two fewer than that of Hanoi teammate Oseni Bolaji, who currently leads the race for the “top scorer” prize with 14.

The impressive comeback of Samson will surely help to strengthen Hanoi’s attacking power, inspiring the freshly crowned title holders to more victories in the remaining five league matches, towards producing a fabulous end to the 2018 V.League season.

Hoang Vu Samson marks an impressive V.League return with two goals for Hanoi FC against Song Lam Nghe An.

In addition, by claiming the V.League crown, Chu Dinh Nghiem and his players have the chance to score a double title this season, as they have made it through to the semifinals of the 2018 Vietnamese National Cup.

Although the race to the overall title has come to an end, the battle for the runner-up finish is still proceeding fiercely, with second-placed Sanna Khanh Hoa holding the biggest advantage with their current five-point lead against third-placed FLC Thanh Hoa. Manager Nguyen Duc Thang’s Thanh Hoa demonstrated a strong return from the interval by achieving two wins in a row and scoring seven goals – three goals against Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the 21st round of the V.League and four goals against Song Lam Nghe An in the first leg of the National Cup semifinals.

Saigon FC were the only team of the bottom group to win last weekend as they surprisingly defeated former champions Becamex Binh Duong 2-0 on their home field. The inspiring victory helped Saigon FC to replace their neighbours Ho Chi Minh City FC in 11th position, four points clear of the relegation zone.

Newly promoted Nam Dinh FC and XSKT Can Tho could not cause a surprise in Round 21, suffering respective 1-2 losses to Sanna Khanh Hoa and SHB Da Nang. By dropping points, these two teams currently remain stuck in the top two places of the bottom pack. If they continue to miss out on victories in the next three matches, Nam Dinh FC and XSKT Can Tho will almost undoubtedly suffer a direct relegation ticket and a place in the playoff for next year’s V.League berth.