Five talking points from V.League 2019 Matchday 14

Tuesday, 2019-07-09 17:15:35
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Hanoi FC captain Van Quyet (left) celebrates with Quang Hai after scoring against Hai Phong FC. (Photo: VPF)
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NDO – Matchday 14 of the 2019 V.League saw title favourites Ho Chi Minh City unexpectedly stunned by newly promoted Viettel, as well as the return of reigning champions Hanoi FC to the top spot of the table.

>>> V.League: Hanoi FC beat Hai Phong to take top spot

>>> V.League: Newbies Viettel stun leaders HCM City 1-0 on home field

Here following are the five talking points from the latest V.League action.

1. HCM City extend winless run

HCM City (R) have now gone three league games without a win. (Photo: VPF)

Having gone two games without a win, HCM City entered the second leg of the V.League with hopes of finding some form to continue their bid for top glory this season. However, Chung Hae-seong’s side suffered a humiliating 1-0 defeat against newly promoted Viettel, their losers in the last 16 of the 2019 National Cup just three weeks earlier. The bitter loss extended HCM City’s winless run to five matches, allowing other competitors to bridge their gaps with the southern team in the title race.

2. The return of reigning champions

Hanoi FC (in blue) are now one point clear on top of the V.League table. (Photo: VPF)

Hanoi FC took advantage of HCM City’s defeat to return to top of the V.League table, as two goals by Van Quyet and Pape Omar helped the reigning champions overcome Hai Phong 2-1, thus beating Chung Hae-seong’s side into second place with one point clear. With the top two teams swapping their places in the opening matchday of the second leg, this year’s title race is predicted to be full of tensions, thrills and fierceness until the last minutes.

3. Thanh Hoa off to good start with new manager

Thanh Hoa FC (in yellow) produce an amazing turnaround against Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN. (Photo: VPF)

Thanh Hoa FC produced a sweet start under the dynasty of newly appointed manager Vu Quang Bao, as they came from a goal behind to beat bottom-place Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN 3-1 and climb to fifth position with 21 points, seven fewer than the leaders Hanoi FC.

With the appearance of new signing Errol Stevens, Thanh Hoa’s attacking power has clearly been enhanced. Stevens immediately proved his value by providing two assists in their away triumph. From sitting at rock-bottom after the first three league matches, the defending runners-up have now risen to the leading group. If their current form is maintained, it is likely that Thanh Hoa will become a potential opponent for HCM City and Hanoi FC in this year’s title race.

4. A sad matchday for home sides

Viettel (in red) are the only home side to win full three points in the 2019 V.League matchday 14. (Photo: VPF)

Matchday 14 witnessed poor results garnered by host teams, as only one of them grabbed the full three points (Viettel), three others had to settle for a point each (Song Lam Nghe An, Saigon FC, Becamex Binh Duong), and three teams were left empty-handed (Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN, Hai Phong FC).

It was also a tough and stressful matchday, as only one match finished with a margin of more than one goal (Thanh Hoa beat Sanna Khanh Hoa 3-1). The remaining games ended up in either draws or a minimum margin.

5. Fewest goals in five matchdays

Matchday 14 concluded with a modest goal tally of 17, equivalent to an average of 2.43 goals per game, the lowest in the last five matchdays (matchday 13: 2.57 goals per match; matchday 12: 3 goals per match; matchday 11: 2.86 goals per match; matchday 10: 2.71 goals per match).

The decline can be attributed to the fact that clubs have just returned from a mid-season break with lineup replacements and have yet to get back to their best form.