Six out of the total seven home sides clinched the full three points in the first round of the second phase of V.League 1 - 2020, making it a forgettable matchday for the vising teams.
|Saigon FC players celebrate scoring a goal during their match against Hong Linh Ha Tinh.|
Let’s review the five talking points from the latest V.League 1 action.
A successful matchday for the hosts
The host teams had a fabulous round of play over the weekend. Nam Dinh FC were the only guests to return with points after a 1-1 draw against Thanh Hoa FC.
In the remaining matches, the six hosts made good use of the home advantage to claim their full three points. Particularly, the top four saw no shuffle as Saigon FC, Viettel FC, Quang Ninh Coal and Hanoi FC cruised to victories over their challengers.
Quang Hai makes vigorous return to steer Hanoi FC to crucial win
After more than a year of “keeping silent”, midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai staged a strong comeback to top form inspiring Hanoi FC to a fabulous 2-0 win against Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). The 2018 Vietnam Golden Ball winner earned a penalty, successfully converted by captain Van Quyet, and directly got himself on the scoreboard. Such an important triumph has helped the reigning champions to retain hopes of defending their championship title this season.
Meanwhile, with the second consecutive defeat, title favourites HCMC are floating farther away from the V.League 1-2020 trophy. They are now ranked fifth, three points behind fourth-placed Hanoi FC and seven adrift of leaders Saigon FC.
HAGL pays sharp prices for defensive lapses
Receiving a psychological boost after a commanding win against HCMC on the last matchday of phase 1, Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) could not utilise it to cruise ahead in the title race as they conceded 1-4 against Viettel FC.
The blameworthy mistakes committed by goalkeeper Buu Ngoc and the defensive line forced HAGL to indirectly “offer a victory” to hosts Viettel.
Saigon FC retain top spot with hard-fought win against newbies
Lacking key forward Pedro Paulo due to injury, Saigon FC had to work hard to secure a narrow 2-1 win against newbies Hong Linh Ha Tinh. Two goals scored by foreigners Ahn Byung Keon and Geovane helped Vu Tien Thanh’s side remain the title frontrunners with two points clear.
Quang Nam FC decide managerial change after defeat against Song Lam Nghe An
A brace by Ho Tuan Tai and two goals from foreigners Felipe and Peter handed Song Lam Nghe An a resounding 4-1 home win over bottom-placed Quang Nam FC in the last match of phase 2’s opening round. The humiliating loss immersed Quang Nam deeper into the bottom of the table and closer to relegation, forcing the club’s leadership board to call for a managerial change. Accordingly, Nguyen Thanh Cong has been chosen to replace manager Dao Quang Hung in leading the team for the remainder of the 2020 season. NDO