V.League: Hanoi FC beat Hai Phong to take top spot

Tuesday, 2019-07-09 11:57:43
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By snatching the top spot from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi FC (in blue) have made a great stride in their title defence ambition.
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NDO – Reigning champions Hanoi FC snatched the top spot from Ho Chi Minh City following their 2-1 away win against Hai Phong FC on matchday 14 of the 2019 V.League, on July 8.

>>> V.League: Newbies Viettel stun leaders HCM City 1-0 on home field

After HCM City suffered an unexpected defeat to newly promoted Viettel, Hanoi FC had set great determination for their trip to Lach Tray Stadium, as a victory would allow them to take the lead in the title race with one point clear of Chung Hae-seong’s side.

Captain Nguyen Van Quyet threatened to open the scoring in the eighth minute with an off the post header. However, it took him only five more minutes to get on the scoresheet, heading home from Duc Huy’s right-wing pass to put the guests in front.

The following minutes saw Hai Phong intensify their attacks in the hope of restoring parity, with Diego Fagan firing wide with a long-range strike in the 22nd minute, in addition to two consecutive headers striking off the post from Jermie Lynch and Mpande.

The hosts’ concerted efforts paid off early in the second half, as Hoang Duong headed past keeper Van Cong from close range to bring the match back to the starting line. However, Hai Phong’s joy was short-lived, because only two minutes later, Pape Omar converted Van Quyet’s cornerkick to restore Hanoi’s lead.

With time running out, manager Truong Viet Hoang’s side pushed hard for an equaliser, putting the Hanoi goal in constant danger. Thus, the brilliance of keeper Van Cong helped the guests defend their advantage until the final whistle.

The crucial triumph lifted Hanoi FC to the top spot on the V.League table with 28 points, one point clear of Ho Chi Minh City and six above Quang Ninh Coal, who replaced Song Lam Nghe An in third place following their 2-2 away draw against Saigon FC on the same day.

Quang Ninh Coal (in blue) have climbed to third place in the V.League table after matchday 14.

Former champions Becamex Binh Duong missed the chance to break into the top half of the title race after being held to a 1-1 tie on home field by lower-rated Nam Dinh FC.