Nguyen Thanh Chung scored a 95th-minute goal to rescue Hanoi FC from an empty-handed trip to Becamex Binh Duong, as the two teams played out a nail-biting 2-2 draw on matchday 8 of V.League 2019 yesterday.
Thanh Chung celebrating scoring a late equaliser for Hanoi FC. (Photo: VPF)
Receiving the reigning champions on their home field, Becamex Binh Duong surprised their opponents by deploying an attacking lineup right from the start, with forward trio Wander Luiz, Mansary and Nguyen Anh Duc named in the starting list.
The hosts’ proactive playing style worked as Wander Luiz converted a right-wing cross with a powerful header to open the scoring for manager Nguyen Thanh Son’s side after 14 minutes.
No sooner had they come around from Luiz’s opener than Hanoi FC conceded a second six minutes later, with veteran Nguyen Anh Duc’s smart through ball allowing To Van Vu to beat Hanoi keeper Van Cong to double their advantage.
After two unexpected goals, the visitors seemed to awaken and performed better in the remainder of the first half.
Chu Dinh Nghiem’s troops managed to pull back a goal immediately before halftime thanks to a close-range attempt by foreigner Ganiyu Oseni.
In the second half, Hanoi FC continued to push hard to tie up the game, but they faced fierce resistance from the home side.
Just as everyone was thinking of the first defeat for the capital team this season, Thanh Chung became the hero with an accurate close-range header to secure Hanoi FC a precious away point and extend their unbeaten run in 2019 V.League to eight games. Goalie Tan Truong was to blame for Binh Duong’s failure to bag a full three points, as he failed to catch the ball after a Hanoi cross into the box, thus giving an opportunity to Thanh Chung.
The last-gasp draw ensured Hanoi FC remain at top of the table two points above Ho Chi Minh City, who still have one game in hand.
In other matches of the same day, SHB Da Nang and Saigon FC recorded respective 1-0 victories at home against Quang Ninh Coal and Hai Phong FC.
Newly promoted Viettel FC brilliantly held third-placed Song Lam Nghe An to a goalless draw on their home field, while Hoang Anh Gia Lai beat Nam Dinh FC with two unanswered goals, their first win under the dynasty of newly appointed manager Lee Tae-hoon.
HCM City are looking to reclaim top spot from Hanoi FC as they travel to Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN later today. Thanh Hoa FC are expected to taste the flavour of victory for the first time this season as they play host to out-of-form Quang Nam FC.