Matchday 9 of the 2019 V.League saw reigning champions Hanoi FC concede their first defeat of the season at Thanh Hoa FC, while HAGL continued their sweet run under new manager Lee Tae-hoon.
SHB Da Nang (in orange) have now won two games in a row.
Here are five talking points from the weekend’s V.League action.
1. Hanoi FC’s eight-game unbeaten run halted
Thanh Hoa (in yellow) have put an end to Hanoi FC's eight-game unbeaten run in 2019 V.League.
Hanoi FC had their eight-game unbeaten streak stopped by Thanh Hoa FC as they were forced to concede their first defeat of the 2019 V.League against Nguyen Duc Thang’s side on Saturday.
The reigning champions trailed by three goals in the first half despite fielding a quality defensive lineup consisting of three national team members, namely Dinh Trong, Duy Manh and Van Hau. The humiliating defeat dealt a big blow to Hanoi FC’s title defence ambition, while working to keep their feet on the ground after a high-flying run since the beginning of the season.
2. Hoang Anh Gia Lai extend joyful days with manager Lee Tae-hoon
Vu Van Thanh marks his return from injury with a goal for Hoang Anh Gia Lai.
The appointment of new manager Lee Tae-hoon is bringing positive changes to Hoang Anh Gia Lai. An improved defence and a more pragmatic playing style are making the Central Highlands team become increasingly unpredictable.
The sublimation of Van Toan and his teammates continued to be maintained on matchday 9 as they beat newly promoted Viettel with three unanswered goals, extremely different form compared to their previous matches. It was the Gia Lai team’s second win and third consecutive unbeaten game under the dynasty of Lee.
3. SHB Da Nang build on winning momentum
SHB Da Nang fans are living in joyful days as their favourite team clinched their second victory in a row after a poor seven-game run of only draws and losses in all arenas.
The 2-1 triumph over Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN was still not enough to lift Le Huynh Duc’s side to the top half of the table, however, it will surely add to the former champions’ confidence for the remainder the 2019 title campaign.
4. Sanna Khanh Hoa immersed deeper into crisis
Last weekend, Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN continued to extend their disappointing V.League run after conceding a 1-2 defeat against SHB Da Nang.
The bitter loss kept Vo Dinh Tan’s troops rooted to bottom place with only five points from nine games. If failing to improve the situation in the next few rounds, Sanna Khanh Hoa will see themselves emerge as the odds-on favourite for a direct relegation berth at the end of the season.
5. A matchday of cards and penalties
Tran Dinh Trong receives his first red card in V.League as Hanoi FC concede their first defeat of the 2019 season.
Matchday 9 witnessed a total of 29 cards shown by the referees, including three red cards, one of which was awarded to Hanoi FC’s Tran Dinh Trong, who has always been highly appreciated thanks to a smart playing style and a critical mind.
Another interesting feature of the weekend’s V.League action was penalties. Seven matches wrapped up with six penalties awarded, five of which were successfully converted into goals. Ho Chi Minh City keeper Thanh Diep impressed the most by blocking Dinh Thanh Trung’s 85th-minute penalty, thus helping Chung Hae-seong’s side secure a precious point on their home field.