2020 V.League 1 2020 – Matchday 2

Superb substitute Xuan Nam takes HCM City two points clear at top of V.League

Monday, 2020-03-16 09:15:55
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Nguyen Xuan Nam celebrates scoring a late winner for Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: VPF)
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NDO – Forward Nguyen Xuan Nam scored in the last minute to bring Ho Chi Minh City to a 1-0 win over Thanh Hoa FC on March 15 as Chung Hae-seong’s side took advantage of a slip-up by Hanoi FC to open a two-point lead at the top of V.League.

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The Hai Duong-born player came off the bench in the 63rd minute and blasted an unstoppable close-range header with only seconds left to play, handing the hosts their second consecutive victory.

It was Xuan Nam’s fifth goal throughout his 76 minutes of appearance over the latest three matches. On the V.League matchday 1, Xuan Nam replaced Cong Phuong in the 70th minute, grabbing a brace to seal a 3-1 win for HCM City. He repeated the feat in HCM City’s 2-0 victory against Lao Toyota in the AFC Cup after being sent onto the field in the 61st minute. Then came the V.League matchday 2 on Sunday, where he again assumed the role of a ‘superb substitute’, finishing off Thanh Hoa to help Chung’s troops become the only side to retain a winning run since the turn of V.League 2020.

Meanwhile, it was quite comprehensible that Thanh Hoa FC were disappointed at their away defeat, as the guests had played on par with the reigning runners-up at Thong Nhat Stadium. Before Xuan Nam’s decisive goal, the most dangerous opportunity of the match belonged to Thanh Hoa, with Dinh Tung firing an unstoppable header at the far corner (56’) that unexpectedly hit the post. In the following minutes, the visitors produced constant shots, but goalkeeper Thanh Thang performed brilliantly to rescue the home side twice.

HCM City's foward Nguyen Cong Phuong in action during the match. (Photo: VPF)

Despite their better ball possession, HCM City only managed to create their first scoring chance early in the second half, as Monteiro fired a shot at goalie Thanh Diep from a narrow angle.

On the stroke of full time, Dinh Tung’s strike was parried to safety by HCM City keeper Thanh Thang. While it had seemed the final result would be stalemate, Xuan Nam was on target with only seconds left to play to secure the full three points for Chung Hae-seong’s side.

In another Sunday clash, reigning champions Hanoi FC suffered a humiliating 1-3 away defeat against Quang Ninh Coal, thus missing the chance to defend their grip on the top of the table.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai players celebrate levelling the score 3-3 late in the match. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

Saigon FC thrashed SHB Da Nang 4-1 away to move up to second place with four points, while Hoang Anh Gia Lai dropped a two-goal lead to play out a 3-3 draw with hosts Viettel FC.

V.League 2020 Table - Matchday 2