Round 7 of the 2021 V.League 1 season was played out on Friday to Sunday and there were a number of highlights that came from the latest set of matches. SHB Da Nang managed to pull off an impressive 2-0 win over Hanoi FC at the Hoa Xuan Stadium on Friday, a defeat that cost Hanoi head coach Chu Dinh Nghiem his job, while on Saturday both Dong A Thanh Hoa and Hong Linh Ha Tinh played out a memorable match at the Ha Tinh Stadium, with the two sides exchanging goal after goal before eventually Thanh Hoa emerged triumphant 5-3 at the end of the day.
Hanoi came to the Hoa Xuan on the back of a 4-match unbeaten run since the league’s restart, winning three and drawing once. However that one blemish came in Hanoi’s most recent match, a 1-1 draw with lowly Hong Linh Ha Tinh at the Hang Day Stadium that saw Geovane salvaging a point for the Capital Team in the final minutes of the match. Dinh Nghiem’s men were also riddled with injuries to key players, which included Do Hung Dung, Bruno Cantanhede, and even Geovane. Fortunately for the men in purple, Nguyen Quang Hai managed to recover just in time for the match, however he was only fit to start the match on the bench.
Hanoi’s chop-and-change squad, that saw defender Nguyen Thanh Chung playing up top, was ran ragged by a superb Da Nang side who have bounced back from their two consecutive losses on Rounds 4 and 5 with their second consecutive win, having beaten Thanh Hoa 3-1 on Round 6. Rafaelson managed to find captain Dang Anh Tuan who blasted home the opener past Bui Tan Truong in the 19th minute, before an own-goal from Tran Van Kien in the 69th minute confirmed the three points for Le Huynh Duc’s Han River Team. Adding insult to injury, Hanoi lost two more players from this match – both captain Nguyen Van Quyet and defender Bui Hoang Viet Anh were suspended due to their violent conduct during the match, with Viet Anh stamping former teammate Papa Ibou Kebe after the Frenchman was brought down by Van Kien at the end of the first half, while Van Quyet was punished for shoving into Janclesio during a tussle for the ball in the 85th minute.
Moreover, the defeat spells the end of the line for Hanoi head coach Dinh Nghiem, who was sacked from his post on Saturday and replaced by former Quang Nam FC and Sai Gon FC head coach Hoang Van Phuc. Van Phuc famously led Quang Nam to the 2017 V.League 1 title before controversially walking out of Sai Gon after Round 1 of the 2020 season due to disagreements with then-club president Vu Tien Thanh, who proceeded to take the reins of the team himself.
Round 7’s other matches on Friday saw Ho Chi Minh City FC losing yet again, this time being stunned 3-1 at the Thong Nhat Stadium by newly promoted Topenland Binh Dinh who raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time, while league leaders Hoang Anh Gia Lai cemented themselves at the summit with a straightforward 2-0 win away at Hai Phong FC.
Saturday’s duel between Ha Tinh and Thanh Hoa represented the battle between the bottom two teams of the league, with a confident Ha Tinh looking to pull themselves away from bottom half of the table thanks to a 3-match unbeaten run while Thanh Hoa are in sheer disarray as they had lost all 3 of their games so far after the league’s restart, with star striker Hoang Vu Samson serving a disciplinary suspension from the club.
Fans from both sides at the Ha Tinh Stadium were treated to a delight as Thanh Hoa went 1-0 up in the 5th minute thanks to Gramoz Kurtaj, before the hosts hit back almost immediately through Chevaughn Walsh. Jamaican Walsh then made it 2-1 in Ha Tinh’s favor with a 26th minute penalty, before Le Quoc Phuong tied things up in the 46th minute. Hoang Anh Ly Cong gave Ha Tinh the 3-2 lead in the 56th minute, however Thanh Hoa once again equalized in the 69th minute through Le Van Thang.
Substitute Hoang Dinh Tung then slammed home a double whammy to break Ha Tinh hearts, giving Thanh Hoa the 4-3 lead in the 77th minute before cementing the three points for Ljupko Petrovic’s men in the 87th minute, wrapping up a thrilling 5-3 win for the away side.
Saturday’s other Round 7 matches saw Than Quang Ninh winning 1-0 at home over Becamex Binh Duong and defending champions Viettel FC hammering Sai Gon 3-0 at the Hang Day Stadium.
Last but not least, an injury-time header from Lam Anh Quang gave Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh a 1-0 win over Song Lam Nghe An at the Thien Truong Stadium.