Football Tribe SEA Editor
Jamaican striker Rimario Gordon announced his return from injury in emphatic fashion as he led defending V.League 1 champions Hanoi FC to a 3-0 demolition job of Hoang Anh Gia Lai on Sunday at the Hang Day Stadium. Rimario scored a brace in the 2020 V.League 1 third round game, which saw Hanoi breaking into the top four positions with the fresh three points.
Having being battered by Than Quang Ninh 3-1 prior to the league’s COVID-19 suspension, Hanoi took their time wisely during the pause to regroup, recover, and rejuvenate themselves. And they have prepared well as HAGL were defenseless against the capital side’s onslaught, being thoroughly outclassed and outplayed throughout the 90 minutes. Hanoi announced their attacking intent loud and clear as early as the 6th minute, with Do Hung Dung spurning a chance to take the lead for his side in the early stages of the match. Six minutes later Hung Dung teed up captain Nguyen Van Quyet, who sent his shot over the crossbar.
However, there was no denying Van Quyet in the 23rd minute. A long ball towards the HAGL defense was received well by the Hanoi captain, who easily carved through HAGL’s back-line and going straight past the onrushing HAGL keeper, giving Van Quyet all the time and space needed to give his side the lead as he easily tapped the ball into the empty net. 1-0 Hanoi.
3 minutes after the opener, Hanoi wasted no time in doubling their lead. Van Quyet sent a through pass towards Pape Omar Faye, and the Senegalese rushed into the HAGL defense with Rimario waiting for him nearby. Omar passed the ball to Rimario, who immediately smashed it into the net for Hanoi’s second of the game. It was Rimario’s first ever goal for Hanoi and also his first goal since recovering from an injury that kept him out of the side throughout the first two rounds of the season.
As the referee blew for half-time, the score stood at Hanoi 2-0 HAGL.
As the second half commenced, Hanoi retained the same attacking intensity and ruthlessness that earned them their 2-goal lead. Hanoi seek to kill off the game as soon as possible and Nguyen Quang Hai almost did that in the 54th minute, only to have his shot ballooning over the HAGL goal. 4 minutes after Quang Hai’s chance though, Hanoi finally got that third goal that they’ve been looking for.
Receiving a long ball deep in the HAGL defense, Rimario danced through opposition defenders before slotting in the ball into the HAGL goal, sealing Hanoi’s third goal of the night. The Jamaican almost scored a hat-trick in the 62nd minute, but sadly his shot went narrowly wide from the HAGL goal.
As the match went on Hanoi kept on pressing and pressing for more goals, however three goals were enough that night and the defending champions can celebrate an excellent 3-0 win over their shellshocked opponents.
In Sunday’s other action, a 73rd minute penalty from Phan Van Duc condemned SHB Da Nang to a 1-0 defeat at Song Lam Nghe An, a result that continued Da Nang’s 3-game losing streak in the league. Thanh Hoa FC also lost their third game in a row on Sunday, with Fabio Lopez’s men going down 2-1 at Quang Nam FC. Last but not least, Hong Linh Ha Tinh finally got their season up and running as goals from Bruno Henrique and Victor Mansaray earned the newly promoted side a 2-0 win away at Quang Ninh.
Sunday’s results meant that Ho Chi Minh City FC, Viettel FC, SLNA, and Hanoi made up the top four positions, the four teams being separated by a point with the former three being separated by goal difference. Both Da Nang and Thanh Hoa made up the bottom two of the league, both of them on zero points. With the lowest team being relegated to the V.League 2, both Da Nang and Thanh Hoa need to get their season up and running as soon as possible, or they might face a long relegation battle this season.