Five talking points from V.League 2020 Matchday 12

Sunday, 2020-09-27 15:49:06
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V.League 2020 - Matchday 12 - Viettel FC vs Saigon FC - Hang Day Stadium - September 26, 2020 Viettel's Hoang Duc (in red) in action with Saigon's Van Trien during the match.
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NDO – After a two-month suspension due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, V.League 2020 officially resumed on September 26 with seven clashes of Matchday 12.

Following are five talking points from the latest V.League action.

Viettel end Saigon’s 11-game unbeaten run

Viettel FC players celebrate after the match.

Saigon FC were forced to concede their first defeat of this year’s V.League season as substitute Vu Minh Tuan scored a stoppage-time winner to hand Viettel FC a thrilling 1-0 win over the title frontrunners.

Despite still reigning on top of the table, Saigon FC are now only one point clear of runners-up Viettel and three points above third-placed Ho Chi Minh City and fourth-placed Quang Ninh Coal. Such gaps are not so wide and can be levelled or even surpassed within the rest of the season.

Host teams demonstrate power

Matchday 12 witnessed the brilliance of the home sides as four of the seven hosts clinching the full three points (SHB Da Nang, Song Lam Nghe An, Viettel FC and HCM City) and two others managing to earn one point (Quang Ninh Coal, Quang Nam FC). Thanh Hoa FC were the only empty-handed team at home following their 1-2 defeat against V.League newbies Hong Linh Ha Tinh.

Large number of goals recorded

Ho Chi Minh City players (pictured) celebrate scoring a goal in their 5-1 victory over Nam Dinh FC.

Thanks to teams’ thorough preparations, all the seven matches took place with a high level of profession quality, as a total of 21 goals were netted with an average of three goals per match. Notably, no clash ended up in a stalemate. HCM City vs Nam Dinh FC saw the widest margin, with Chung Hae-seong’s side thrashing their Nam Dinh rivals 5-1.

HAGL chairman’s “kids” empty-handed at Vinh Stadium for sixth time in a row

Despite playing on par with hosts Song Lam Nghe An during the majority of the match, a lack of concentration in the backline forced Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) to pay dearly with two goals conceded within only the last five minutes. This is the sixth successive away loss at Vinh Stadium for HAGL chairman Doan Nguyen Duc’s “kids” since their promotion to the first team in 2015.

Relegation race heated

Bottom-placed Quang Nam FC (in blue) are now only one point behind second-from-bottom Hai Phong FC.

The relegation race continues to proceed in a tense and fierce fashion with bottom-placed Quang Nam FC earning a precious point from reigning champions Hanoi FC to narrow their gap with second-from-bottom Hai Phong FC and third-from-bottom Nam Dinh FC to just one more point. Given that fact, the battle to avoid relegation promises to see many surprising developments until the last matchdays.