Talking points from V.League 1-2021 Matchday 1

Monday, 2021-01-18 16:44:08
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V.League 1-2021 - Matchday 1 - Saigon FC vs Hoang Anh Gia Lai - Thong Nhat Stadium - January 17, 2021 Saigon FC's Do Merlo scores the only goal of the match. (Photo: VPF)
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NDO – The opening round of V.League 1-2021 was full of surprises, as many fixtures did not turn out as expected.

>>> Two missed penalties cost Ha Tinh in opening defeat

The following are some talking points from the weekend’s V.League 1 action.

Reigning champions stumble to home defeat

Viettel FC have suffered their second consecutive defeat in the past week.

Viettel FC’s title defence ambitions were dealt a strong blow as Truong Viet Hoang’s side succumbed to a 0-1 home loss against lower-rated Hai Phong FC. The lack of defensive pillars, namely Bui Tien Dung and Que Ngoc Hai, was one of the major reasons for Viettel’s defeat.

It was the second consecutive loss for Viettel FC in the past week (after their National Super Cup defeat against Hanoi FC), making them the first reigning champions to lose a season opener in the past 13 years.

Hanoi FC leave Thien Truong Stadium empty-handed

Nam Dinh FC players celebrate scoring a goal during their home clash with Hanoi FC.

On a day with players in all positions playing below par, title favourites Hanoi FC were beaten by last season’s second-from-bottom side Nam Dinh FC by three unanswered goals. The result had not been anticipated by anyone, especially as Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side were riding high, with their confidence and mood boosted by their recent Super Cup victory.

This was the heaviest season-opener defeat for Hanoi FC since they were promoted to V.League 1 in 2009.

Sad debuts for foreign managers

Ho Chi Minh City FC manager Alexandre Polking gestures during the match.

The opening round of V.League 1-2021 saw disappointing debuts by foreign managers. Playing guest to Becamex Binh Duong, tactician Petrovic could not help the Thanh Hoa side leave Go Dau Stadium even with a single point despite his concerted efforts. Similarly, the debut of Ho Chi Minh City FC manager Alexandre Polking was spoiled by forward Ha Duc Chinh’s superb goal for the SHB Da Nang side.

In the last match of the first round, Thai manager Kiatisuk Senamuang could not save Hoang Anh Gia Lai from an away defeat against Saigon FC.

Quang Ninh Coal rescue incredible win from behind

Quang Ninh Coal's Eydison and Mac Hong Quan celebrate after the match. (Photo: VPF)

Quang Ninh Coal came from a goal behind to bag the full three points at Hong Linh Ha Tinh’s stadium thanks to a last-gasp brace by forward Eydison. Remarkably, the guests’ triumph saw a “significant contribution” from the boot of Ha Tinh striker Claudecir as he missed two penalties in the first half.