V.League 1-2021 Matchweek 12

Hanoi FC keep title-race hopes alive with Saigon FC win

Monday, 2021-05-03 09:34:06
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Hanoi FC players celebrate scoring a goal during their V.League 1 match against Saigon FC on May 2. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
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NDO – Hanoi FC kindled their hopes of making the top six title contenders in the second phase of V.League 1 by defeating Saigon FC 3-1 at home in the penultimate round of the first phase on May 2 thanks to goals from Geovane and Bruno.

The shining display of the foreign players earned the former champions their first victory under new manager Park Choong-kyun, lifting them to seventh in the table with 16 points, just a single point adrift of the top six.

Meanwhile, the loss pushed Saigon FC down to 13th position, standing just three points clear of bottom-place Song Lam Nghe An, who conceded three unanswered goals against Ho Chi Minh City on the same day.

Geovane contributed significantly to Hanoi FC’s Sunday triumph. The Brazilian forward moved the hosts off the mark after only three minutes lofting a skillful left-footed curler over goalkeeper Van Phong toward the far top corner.

Hanoi FC almost doubled their advantage 16 minutes later, however, Quang Hai’s impromptu volley was denied by the crossbar.

In the 28th minute, Cao Van Trien delivered a subtle pass from midfield to unmarked Manh Cuong, who burst into the box to take the ball before shooting past goalie Bui Tan Truong in a one-on-one to level the score.

Hanoi FC's Nguyen Quang Hai in action during the match. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

After the break, Hanoi FC strengthened their attacks and created a number of clear-cut opportunities. It was not until the 67th minute that Park Choong-kyun’s side restored their lead with Geovane heading Thai Quy’s left-flank cross home to beat Van Phong, who had showed amazing reflexes to deny Bruno’s close-range shot just seconds earlier.

In the 79th minute, Bruno punished the guests’ loose defence by firing a powerful header from Van Quyet’s cross to seal a convincing 3-1 victory for Hanoi FC.

Hanoi FC are now level with Topenland Binh Dinh and SHB Da Nang on 16 points. They will need a win against bottom-place Song Lam Nghe An in the last round of the first phase on May 7 to firmly secure a place in the title campaign’s second phase.

Leaders Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) saw their seven-game winning run halted following a 2-2 home draw with Becamex Binh Duong, while title holders Viettel FC edged past SHB Da Nang 2-1 away to move within three points of HAGL.

Hong Linh Ha Tinh climbed to 10th place after beating Nam Dinh FC 3-2, extending their winning streak to four matches.

Lee Nguyen scored a brace to help Ho Chi Minh City defeat Hai Phong FC 3-0 to escape the relegation zone. Meanwhile, V.League 1 newbies Topenland Binh Dinh played out a 1-1 draw against third-placed Quang Ninh Coal.

V.League 1-2021 Table - Matchweek 12