Thái Nguyên T&T players (in blue) try to block Phong Phú Hà Nam's attack during their match in the National Women's Football Championship on November 17 in Hà Nội. Photo of VFF
HÀ NỘI — Thái Nguyên T&T secured a dramatic comeback win against the tournament favourites on Wednesday, while HCM City maintained their leading position after two games.
Unseeded Thái Nguyên came from behind to beat title favourites Phong Phú Hà Nam 3-1 at the Việt Nam Football Federation’s Youth Football Field.
Đinh Thị Duyên of Hà Nam opened the scoring with a close-range finish in the 27th minute.
The former champions, home to national team players like Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung and Phạm Hoàng Quỳnh, continued to dominate the rest of the first half and started the second strongly too.
However, a leg injury for Lại Thị Tuyết proved to be a turning point in the game. Forty seconds after she was forced to leave the field Thái Nguyên levelled the score, courtesy of Lò Thị Hoài, in the 61st minute.
Hà Nam continued to press forward but were stung by Thái Nguyên's counter-attacking set up, which earned them two headed goals via Ngọc Minh Chuyên in the 77th and 89th minutes.
The win pushes Thái Nguyên up to second position in the table after two matches; Hà Nam are in fourth with two defeats.
In the later match, defending champions HCM City beat Việt Nam Coals and Minerals 2-0.
Captain Cù Thị Huỳnh Như converted a penalty kick 15 minutes after the interval before Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy netted three minutes before the end to seal HCM City’s second win.
HCM City, who secured the National Cup trophy last week, are top of the table with six points. Coal and Minerals are rooted at the other end at the bottom, with zero points after two games.
The national championship is a five-team round-robin tournament running from November 13-25. The team with the best points at the end will lift the winning silverware and net a purse of VNĐ200 million (US$8,800).
“The women’s championship has been organised for 23 years. It is one of the key tournaments in the national football system,” said VFF General Secretary Lê Hoài Anh.
“Organising board believes that our strong effort to hold the event in this difficult time and teams’ preparation will make for a successful championship, even if it is not open for supporters.”
Bùi Đình Tế, from the main sponsor Thái Sơn Bắc Electrics Equipment Trading Company, said: “We still see the remarkable development of the women’s football in Việt Nam. This year’s tournament is organised in a special situation of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. It leads to fewer participants, no spectators and a change of competition formula. But we acknowledge the organisation’s and teams’ effort to maintain an annual event”.
“I wish the players competing 'good luck'. Thái Sơn Bắc Company believes our support will help not only the domestic tournament develop but also assist national coaches in choosing more potential players for the national team, ” he added.
National head coach Mai Đức Chung was in the stands, keeping his eyes open for any new additions to his national squad.
“The national event is a good opportunity for players to find their competition feeling after months of just practice. It will also be a warm-up for them ahead of the 2022 Asian Cup’s qualifier in January,” said Chung.
The next round of the championship will be on November 19. Thái Nguyên will face former champions Hà Nội Watabe, while Hà Nam will play Coal and Minerals. — VNS