Five talking points from V.League Matchday 23

Monday, 2019-09-16 17:17:32
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NDO – Matchday 23 of the 2019 V.League saw Hanoi FC come close to realising their title defence ambitions with a resounding win against Viettel, while second-placed Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City gradually floated away from winning the long-awaited league title following a disappointing draw at Nam Dinh FC.

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

* Red alert for HAGL after 1-3 defeat at Saigon

Here following are the five talking points from the weekend’s V.League action.

A record number of goals

Song Lam Nghe An players celebrate their victory against Becamex Binh Duong. (Photo: VPF)

A total of 30 goals were scored throughout seven Matchday 23 matches, equivalent to 4.28 goals per game, a record number of goals so far in the 2019 V.League. The Hanoi derby between Hanoi FC and newly promoted Viettel witnessed the most goals, with five for the reigning champions and two for the V.League newbies. Song Lam Nghe An cruised to a 5-1 victory at Becamex Binh Duong, which can possibly be the widest-margin away win this V.League season.

Overall champions gradually come out

Hanoi FC (in blue) are now one win away from the overall V.League trophy. (Photo: VPF)

Hanoi FC overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Viettel 5-2 in a capital derby on Sunday thanks to a strong second-half resurgence, including two braces from Quang Hai and Thanh Chung, and a penalty converter by captain Van Quyet.

The come-from-behind victory helped Hanoi FC solidify their reign on top of the table seven points clear of second-placed Ho Chi Minh City with the 2019 season having just three more matchdays to go. If results go their way, Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side will pocket the championship immediately after the next matchday as they play guest to Song Lam Nghe An.

SHB Da Nang quench two-year thirst for away win

SHB Da Nang put a halt to their nearly-two-year winless away run after outplaying hosts Quang Nam FC 4-1 last weekend. The last time they clinched the full three points as the visitors was in late 2017 when travelling to Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s Pleiku Stadium.

The convincing victory against Quang Nam lifted Le Huynh Duc’s side to eighth place in the V.League standings with 30 points, five clear of the relegation zone.

HCM City’s title hopes fade away

HCM City (in red) are seven points behind leaders Hanoi FC. (Photo: VPF)

HCM City missed the chance to narrow their gap with leaders Hanoi FC after being held to a 1-1 away draw by Nam Dinh FC. With only three matchdays left to go, each of their next matches will be like a final for Chung Hae-seong’s side, since just a single defeat will put an end to their title ambitions.

Bottom group in danger

Hoang Anh Gia Lai (in white) are just one point above the relegation zone. (Photo: VPF)

The bottom three teams, including Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), Thanh Hoa FC and Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN, missed out on a win on Matchday 23 over the weekend. Desite the home-field advantage, Thanh Hoa conceded their seventh consecutive loss, allowing Quang Ninh Coal to taste their first win in seven matches. Vu Quang Bao’s side currently stand at second from bottom, one point behind HAGL, who stumbled to a 1-3 defeat against Saigon FC.

Despite their 1-1 away draw against Hai Phong FC, Sanna Khanh Hoa are deemed for the only direct relegation place, as they are now up to four points behind Thanh Hoa FC. With only three games left to go, Vo Dinh Tan’s side will need a miracle in the following matchdays to light up their hopes for a place in the relegation playoff.