Southeast Asia Vietnam

Hanoi Crush City Rivals to Seal Cup Final Ticket

Daiki Iwamasa is now one step closer from winning his first honor in Vietnamese football after the former Kashima Antlers head coach guided Hanoi FC to the 2023/24 Vietnamese National Cup final, with the Capital Team crushing city rivals The Cong-Viettel 4-1 in Thursday’s semifinal at the Hang Day Stadium.

Hanoi were seeking to qualify to their record-breaking seventh Vietnamese National Cup final, while The Cong-Viettel will be eager to make it into the cup final for the second season running.

Despite acting as the away side for this encounter, it was Hanoi who dominated proceedings and the Capital Team took the lead after just 12 minutes. Luxemburg international Tim Hall passed the ball to Le Van Xuan, who was given too much space by the The Cong-Viettel defense. Van Xuan then fed Nguyen Van Quyet, who easily slotted home into an empty net.

In the 40th minute Hanoi were awarded a penalty after Van Xuan was fouled by The Cong-Viettel goalkeeper Quang The Thai within the area, following a review from VAR. However, The Thai redeemed himself from his earlier error by superbly blocking Pham Tuan Hai’s spot-kick.

The Cong-Viettel drew level in the 52nd minute, after Nguyen Hoang Duc managed to find Nguyen Huu Thang in a promising position. Huu Thang, who was part of the The Cong-Viettel infrastructure since his youth, blasted the ball past Nguyen Van Hoang in the Hanoi goal from 27 meters out.

The stalemate didn’t last long, however, and Hanoi clapped back in the 63rd minute. A cross from the right flank by Pham Xuan Manh was deflected by Tuan Hai towards the direction of Nguyen Hai Long, who rifled home from close range.

Substitute Joel Tagueu then ensured Hanoi’s seventh Vietnamese National Cup final appearance with his brace in the dying minutes of the match – a right-footed shot that deflected off Bui Tien Dung in the 86th minute and a sweet left-footed effort in the seventh minute of injury time.

Hanoi will only have a couple of days to prepare themselves as they will face defending cup champions Dong A Thanh Hoa in Sunday’s final at the Thanh Hoa Stadium.