V.League: Hanoi FC thrash Viettel 5-2 with strong second-half resurgence

Monday, 2019-09-16 11:34:16
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Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai (in blue) scores a brace in Hanoi FC's 5-2 victory against Viettel. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
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NDO – Hanoi FC came from two goals behind to outplay city neighbours Viettel 5-2 in their Matchday 23 meeting at Hang Day Stadium on September 15, thus making a significant step forward in their title defence ambitions.

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To everyone’s surprise, Viettel cruised to a two-goal lead in the first half thanks to foreigners Cantanhede and Bruno; however, a vigorous resurgence after the break, including two braces and one penalty converter, helped the reigning champions turn the tables to solidify their reign on top of the V.League standings.

The Hanoi derby took centre stage of Matchday 23 as its result remarkably impacted Hanoi FC’s title campaign. Nonetheless, the two teams were forced to play behind closed doors due to the penalty related to the flares incident at Hang Day Stadium on the previous matchday.

Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side dominated ball possession in the opening minutes, but it was the Viettel side who scored the first goal of the game thanks to a 17th-minute penalty converter by Cantanhede.

Hanoi FC striker Nguyen Van Quyet (no. 10) maintains his impressive scoring form over recent matchdays. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

After the unexpected goal, Hanoi FC put up their pressure keeping the ball constantly on Viettel’s half. However, the V.League newbies’ solid defence put Van Quyet and teammates in the face of numerous difficulties.

Failing to convert any of the created opportunities, Hanoi FC were forced to pay the price in the 40th minute as Bruno burst into the area to take a brilliant cross from a teammate before shooting past the Hanoi keeper to double Viettel’s advantage.

The reigning champions missed out on a golden chance to narrow the gap two minutes from half-time, but Pape Omar failed to beat Viettel goalie Xuan Son from the spot after Quang Hai was knocked down by Trong Hoang in the box.

Despite their dreamy start in the first half, Viettel experienced a real nightmare in the second as Hanoi FC fought back strongly to score five consecutive goals.

Hanoi FC come back strongly in the second half. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

Thanh Chung opened the title holders’ rally by heading home a cornerkick in the 49th minute before Quang Hai curled a freekick through the wall to equalise the score 11 minutes later.

Five minutes after the hour mark, Hanoi FC were awarded a penalty following a Viettel defender’s infringement on Do Hung Dung. Captain Van Quyet did not miss the clear-cut chance to put Chu Dinh Nghiem’s troops in front.

In the remainder of the match, Quang Hai and Thanh Chung managed to score two additional goals for Hanoi FC to complete their braces.

With the resounding win, Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side have now come very close to the season’s overall trophy, earning 49 points after 23 matchdays, seven clear of second-placed Ho Chi Minh City who only managed a 1-1 draw against Nam Dinh FC.

In other Sunday fixtures, Song Lam Nghe An demolished hosts Becamex Binh Duong 5-1, while Quang Ninh Coal thrashed Thanh Hoa 3-1 away to retain their third place position in the table.

Hanoi FC are now seven points clear at the top of the V.League table.