Nam Dinh FC eliminate Hoang Anh Gia Lai from National Cup

Monday, 2020-05-25 10:05:32
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Xuan Quyet (R) celebrates scoring for Nam Dinh FC. (Photo: VPF)
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NDO – Two goals from Rafaelson and Xuan Quyet earned Nam Dinh FC a 2-0 home win against Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) on May 23, gifting manager Nguyen Van Sy’s side a place in the round of 16 of the 2020 Vietnamese National Cup.

>>> Vietnam first in the world to resume normal football events

The return of Vietnamese football events after months of disruption due to COVID-19 was marked by an emotional National Cup opener between Nam Dinh FC and HAGL, regarding both expertise quality and the stands.

A festive atmosphere, created by tens of thousands of enthusiastic Nam Dinh supporters, flooded the stands of Thien Truong Stadium after the organising committee was permitted to let fans in to support their favourite teams.

Inspired by such a huge power source, Nam Dinh players performed impressively and clinched a convincing victory against the visitors, who were considered to have a stronger lineup.

The home side played offensively right from the first whistle and created a number of opportunities to score. Their tireless efforts paid off in the 43rd minute as Rafaelson met a right-flank cross with a header to open the scoring.

The clash takes place with tens of thousands of fans in attendance, (Photo: VPF)

HAGL pushed hard for an equaliser after the break, but could not convert their created chances, including a shot off the woodwork by Van Toan.

Two minutes after the hour mark, Nam Dinh put the game to bed as Xuan Quyet drove a beautiful curler from outside the box to seal a well-deserved triumph for Nguyen Van Sy’s side.

Next up for Nam Dinh FC is a round-of-16 clash against Quang Ninh Coal.

The emotional match between Nam Dinh and HAGL inspired a series of exciting matches across the country the following day.

A big surprise was produced at Ba Ria Vung Tau on Sunday as First Division newbies Ba Ria-Vung Tau finished off V.League team Saigon FC with a score of 2-1, a result that hardly anyone had predicted.

Substitute Van Kien (L) scores a brace to lift Ba Ria-Vung Tau through to the round of 16 of the 2020 National Cup. (Photo: VPF)

Under the strong support of over 5,000 home fans, Ba Ria-Vung Tau persisted with a counterattacking strategy and was rewarded for it with a brace by substitute Van Kien, scoring in the 61st and 72nd minutes. Saigon FC struggled to narrow the score to 1-2 in the last minutes of play, but it was not enough to save them from their first major shock under manager Tien Thanh.

The remaining three matches on May 24 saw little surprise as V.League representatives clinched easy wins over their First Division opponents. SHB Da Nang and Song Lam Nghe An respectively edged out Hue FC and Binh Dinh FC by the same score of 1-0, while An Giang FC played out a 2-2 draw with Long An FC before winning the deciding penalty shootout to qualify for the round of 16.

The preliminary round of the 2020 National Cup will conclude today (May 25) with the last five matches, including Dong Thap – Hai Phong, Pho Hien – Thanh Hoa, Sanna Khanh Hoa – Viettel, Binh Phuoc – Dak Lak, and Hong Linh Ha Tinh – Tay Ninh.