Football Tribe SEA Editor
Defending V.League 1 champions Hanoi FC were made to work very hard for their latest result, but it was all worth it as they scrapped out a 1-0 win over Northern Vietnam rivals Hai Phong FC at the Hang Day Stadium on Friday night. A 73rd minute own goal from Hai Phong defender Pham Manh Hung ensured that Hanoi snapped a 3-match winless run that saw them plummet all the way to 8th on the table.
Matches between Hanoi and Hai Phong were always known as being fiery affairs, with the two rivals contesting the Northern Vietnam Derby together. For Friday’s match, around 500 policemen were stationed at the Hang Day. The beefed up security measure was taken due to last season’s encounter between the two teams, that saw play being stopped due to flares being lit up by the Hai Phong traveling contingent. The Northern Vietnam Derby also saw a history of unruly conduct that saw flares, clashes, and fines being dished out, hence the necessary need for extra security.
Around 2000 fans from Hai Phong made the journey to Hanoi and turned the away stand at the Hang Day into a sea of red, while Vietnam national team head coach Park Hang-seo was also in attendance. Despite the additional security measures, Hai Phong fans still managed to find a way to lit up flares before the match, which add more tension to an already tense derby.
Hanoi started off the match brightly, with Jamaican striker Rimario Gordon missing a close-ranged header after an excellent corner from his teammate in the 9th minute. With their passionate fans backing them on, Hai Phong soon matched up to Hanoi’s energy and went for the offensive as well. Brazilian striker Diego Silva tested Hanoi goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong a number of times, but the veteran goalkeeper was unfettered and worked hard to deny him.
A brilliant counterattack by Hanoi in the 28th minute led to captain Nguyen Van Quyet playing a short backheel pass towards Rimario, however the Jamaican’s subsequent shot was blocked by Hai Phong goalkeeper Nguyen Van Toan. Van Toan once again denied Hanoi in the 40th minute, when a Do Hung Dung through pass finding Van Quyet, who fired straight into Van Toan’s clutches.
The first half ends in a 0-0 stalemate.
The start of the second half saw Hai Phong fans once again lighting up their flares and Hanoi once again starting off brightly. with an excellent combination between Rimario, Van Quyet, and Hung Dung ended in Hung Dung’s shot going skywards in the 48th minute after an excellent block from Hai Phong’s Doan Ngoc Tan. Van Quyet then tested Van Toan once again in the 59th minute. Receiving an excellent backheel pass from Pham Thanh Luong, the Hanoi captain fired off a shot that veered off target before the ball found itself being grasped by the safe hands of Van Toan.
Hanoi continuously applied pressure onto their Northern rivals, with all of their efforts paying off in the 73rd minute. Hung Dung passed the ball to Rimario, who attempted a volley towards the Hai Phong goal. Hai Phong defender Manh Hung attempted to head the ball away into safety, but instead he smashed the ball into his own net much to the disbelief of his teammates and the sheer jubilation of the Hanoi camp. 1-0 to the defending champions.
Now a goal up, Hanoi intensified their attack as they searched for that second goal to kill the game off. And the capital side almost pulled that off in the 85th minute. Van Quyet teed up Rimario, who fired off a powerful shot that Van Toan was powerless to save. However, as the Hanoi players celebrated their second goal, the referee chalked it off the scoreline as Rimario was offside when he scored. The score remained at 1-0 in Hanoi’s favor.
During the closing minutes of the match, the Hai Phong fans threw a flare into the pitch, forcing the Hang Day firefighters to intervene. Despite that, there was no stopping Hanoi as they retained their lead into full-time. With the 1-0 win, Chu Dinh Nghiem’s Hanoi went up to 6th on the table and are back on track to seal a place on the league’s top half with the halfway mark of the season looming. Hai Phong, on the other hand, went down to 13th place.
Earlier on Friday, Round 10 of the 2020 V.League 1 season kicked-off with Hoang Anh Gia Lai hosting basement side Quang Nam FC at the Pleiku Stadium. The hosts emerged out triumphant 3-1 winners, with goals from Vu Van Thanh, Nguyen Tuan Anh and Chevaughn Walsh earning HAGL all three points, despite Quang Nam grabbing a consolation thanks to Papa Ibou Kebe. Elsehwhere at the Ha Tinh Stadium, a 35th minute volley from Bruno Henrique was enough for Hong Linh Ha Tinh to ensure a shock 1-0 win over high-flying Ho Chi Minh City FC, who were without the likes of Amido Balde, Nguyen Huu Tuan, and Pape Diakite due to suspension.
Round 10 action continues on Saturday as Song Lam Nghe An welcome high-flying Viettel FC to the Vinh Stadium, while SHB Da Nang host Than Quang Ninh at the Hoa Xuan Stadium. Thanh Hoa FC made the long trip down South to take on Becamex Binh Duong at the Go Dau Stadium, while league leaders Sai Gon FC look to extend both their lead and their undefeated record in the league as they host struggling Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh at the Thong Nhat Stadium.