V.League: Hanoi FC held to second consecutive draw on home field

Thursday, 2019-07-18 11:18:19
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Hanoi FC players celebrate after opening the scoring. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
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NDO – Hanoi FC could not capitalise on their 1-0 lead to clinch an overall win against Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) in their V.League Matchday 16 meeting, on July 17, as forward Nguyen Van Toan scored a last-gasp goal to help the guests leave Hang Day Stadium with a precious point.

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The reigning champions headed into the home clash knowing that they would have to wait until this weekend to foster hopes of regaining the top spot from Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City, who had defeated SHB Da Nang 3-2 in a thriller earlier on the same day.

However, manager Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side did not hide their ambition of bagging the full three points in order to prevent their gap with leaders HCM City from being further widened.

Hanoi FC made a dreamy start to the game as Pape Omar headed home Van Quyet’s left-wing cross to open the scoring after just three minutes.

The lightning goal boosted the hosts’ confidence, inspiring them to continue threatening the HAGL goal, with Quang Hai skewing a 15h-minute volley saved by keeper Siestma and Van Kien striking the crossbar a few minutes later.

Hanoi FC (in blue) remain the dominant side throughout the match. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

Hanoi FC remained the dominant side after the break, pouring constant pressure on the away team. However, the capital team almost dropped their advantage, as keeper Van Cong struggled to save Felipe Martins’ close-range header right on the goal-line nine minutes before the hour mark.

Despite concerted efforts from both sides, the 1-0 score remained unchanged throughout the 90 official minutes of play. While it appeared to be a narrow triumph for Chu Dinh Nghiem’s troops, Van Toan took a long pass from Xuan Truong and slotted the ball past keeper Van Cong in the last minute of stoppage-time to seal a precious point for HAGL.

The coaching staff of Hoang Anh Gia Lai celebrate after Van Toan equalises the score in stoppage time. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

With their second consecutive draw, Hanoi FC are now three points behind title-race leaders HCM City who continued to show stable form by coming from behind twice to blast a nail-biting 3-2 win at home over SHB Da Nang.

Quang Ninh Coal solidified their hold on third place with a close 1-0 victory against newly promoted Viettel, while bottom-place Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN beat former champions Becamex Binh Duong by the same score thanks to a solitary goal from Youssouf Touré.

In other Wednesday matches, Nam Dinh FC brilliantly thrashed Thanh Hoa FC 4-2 on home field to climb to sixth place with 22 points, only two points behind their opponents. Meanwhile, 2017 champions Quang Nam FC were narrowly defeated 1-2 by Hai Phong FC.