Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội T&T are king of the V.League 2016 after their 2-0 victory over FLC Thanh Hóa in the final round match of the tournament yesterday at Hàng Đẫy Stadium.
The team return to the top after two years finishing in second position, in 2014 and 2015.
This is their third time lifting the winners’ trophy, after their glorious 2010 and 2013 seasons.
Prior to the round, Hà Nội T&T and Hải Phòng were the two top candidates for the title. They both had 47 points, but Hà Nội T&T was in first place due to their better difference in goals.
In case of both winning in their last matches, Hà Nội had a greater advantage, as they only needed a win with a minimum result, while Hải Phòng must score at least four goals and suffered nothing to win the V.League championship for the first time.
However, Gonzalo Damian Marronkle did not make things easy for them.
The Argentinean striker scored a double, one in each half of the match, that saw at least two of Hà Nội T&T’s key players on the bench due to injuries.
Hải Phòng netted three goals on Sông Lam Nghệ An on their home turf at Cẩm Phả Stadium. But it was not enough for them this season. And they have to wait for the cup for at least another season, although they had a perfect start and maintained their peak performance throughout most of the tournament.
Marronkle opened the score just 17 minutes into the game, with a close-range tap-in after receiving the ball from a corner kick.
Hà Nội T&T finished the first half with a 1-0 lead.
At the same time, Hải Phòng tried hard, but failed, to tear Sông Lam Nghệ An’s net.
Their strikers only started working 10 minutes after the interval.
Also, Lê Văn Thắng ‘shot down’ goalkeeper Trần Nguyên Mạnh with a straight kick out of the penalty area.
His teammate, Errol Anthony Stevens, made it 2-0 four minutes later, and Andre Diego Fagan successfully netted at the 75th mark.
The title should have been awarded to Hải Phòng, had Fagan not missed three threatening chances, when he was clear to score in the wide open goal of Sông Lam Nghệ An.
All efforts by Hải Phòng came to nothing when Gonzalo scored the second time in the additional time with a powerful header that keeper Nguyễn Thanh Thắng failed to respond to.
With the same 50 points from 26 matches, Hà Nội T&T won the event with two goals more than Hải Phòng, whose supporters ran onto the field after their game and shouted “Hải Phòng are the champions” to encourage their beloved team.
SHB Đà Nẵng earned their bronze medal after a 4-0 win over relegated Đồng Tháp at Chi Lăng Stadium. Their forward, Sebastian Merlo, tops the scoring list with 21 goals.
Quảng Ninh Coal, who wasted their chance to win this season in two previous matches, were defeated 1-3 by Sanna Khánh Hòa.
Long An, who will battle in the play-off match to avoid relegation, was defeated 2-6 defeat by Quảng Nam.
Last year’s champions, Becamex Bình Dương, was tied in a goalless match versus Cần Thơ. They stand at 10th place.
Meanwhile, Sài Gòn FC beat Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 3-1 at Thống Nhất Stadium. — VNS