V.League 1-2021 Matchweek 11

Hoang Anh Gia Lai solidify top position with seventh consecutive win

Thursday, 2021-04-29 10:05:43
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HAGL's Nguyen Van Toan (in white) in action during their match with Thanh Hoa FC in the V.League 1 on April 28. (Photo: VPF)
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NDO – V.League 1 leaders Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) made light work of Thanh Hoa FC 2-1 on April 28 to extend their gap with second-placed Viettel FC to five points.

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Minh Vuong put HAGL ahead shortly after halftime before Cong Phuong doubled their advantage on the penalty spot 20 minutes later. Gramoz managed to earn a consolation goal for the hosts just seconds before the final whistle.

Playing at home, Thanh Hoa proved things would not be easy for HAGL as Petrovic’s side successfully blocked the visitors’ attacks throughout the first half, during which Cong Phuong missed out on an opener with his injury-time free-kick striking the crossbar.

However, HAGL promptly proved the power that has helped them dominate the V.League 1 table for the past few rounds. Just three minutes after the interval, Minh Vuong broke the deadlock with a decisive long-range strike toward the bottom left corner.

Thanh Hoa came very close to restoring parity a few minutes later, but Ngoc Tan’s powerful drive was unexpectedly denied by the crossbar after leaving goalkeeper Tuan Linh flat-footed.

HAGL's Cong Phuong (No. 10) celebrates scoring their second goals with teammates. (Photo: VPF)

In the 67th minute, Cong Phuong dealt a heavy blow to the hosts’ ambition to turn things around by successfully converting a penalty resulting from Van Loi’s infringement on Brandao in the box.

The No. 10 forward again found the back of the net two minutes later, but his goal was ruled offside by the referee.

Late in the match, Petrovic’s troops deployed several dangerous attacks on the away side, but goalkeeper Tuan Linh made a series of brilliant saves to help the guests defend their lead.

It was not until the fourth minute of stoppage time that Thanh Hoa earned a consolation goal thanks to a penalty by Gramoz. However, the remaining time was too little for them to create any further stirs.

The 2-1 victory helps HAGL extend their unbeaten run in V.League 1 to nine matches (seven wins and two draws) allowing them to move five points clear of reigning champions Viettel.

Hanoi FC (in white) have dropped to 10th position after conceding a 0-1 defeat against newbies Topenland Binh Dinh. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

On the same day, V.League 1 newbies Topenland Binh Dinh edged past former champions Hanoi FC thanks to a solitary goal by Hendrio (22’), thus climbing to seventh in the standings and retaining hopes of making the top six title contenders in the second phase.

Song Lam Nghe An were beaten into bottom place following their 0-2 away defeat against Hai Phong FC, while SHB Da Nang failed to break into the top three after losing 1-2 at home to Saigon FC.

V.League 1-2021 Table - Matchweek 11