|Hà Nội FC defender Đoàn Văn Hậu (right) vies for a ball against HCM City's striker Lee Nguyen during their V.League 1 match on Thursday. Hà Nội won 6-0 to cement their lead at the top of the table. Photo courtesy of VPF
HÀ NỘI — Heavy rain could not prevent Hà Nội FC from smashing HCM City 6-0 on Wednesday, extending their lead at the top of V.League 1 to five points with a game in hand.
Phạm Tuấn Hải scored his first double for the club, one in each half, while Goncalves Silva, Lucas Vinicius and Nguyễn Hai Long netted in the first 11 minutes for the visitors. Đoàn Văn Hậu and Lê Xuân Tú finished off the thrashing early in the second half.
Hà Nội's coach Chun Jae-ho said the win resulted from careful preparation and good tactics.
"We trained hard for the match, focusing on details. Three goals in the first 11 minutes was not luck, it was due to our hard work and preparation," said Chun in the post-match conference.
"We planned to play in attack and press from kickoff. This tactic forced HCM City players into mistakes, leading to our goals.
"HCM City tried to keep with our pace but could not," he said.
The win pushes Hà Nội closer to the championship trophy. Hà Nội are sitting pretty at the top of the table with 40 points, five more than second-placed Hải Phòng, with a game in hand.
However, coach Chun has not thought about the title yet. He said although Hà Nội maintained their high performance recently, anything could happen. Therefore, he wants to take it match by match.
At the other end of the table, HCM City are rock bottom on goal difference with 17 points, although Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh have a game in hand over them.
It was the team's ninth loss to Hà Nội in their 11 meets. Two other matches ended in a draw.
HCM City's coach Vũ Tiến Thành could not believe his side's humiliating defeat, the largest margin of his coaching career.
"I was shocked and sad at this 'tennis' score defeat. I have never tasted such a bitter feeling," said Thành, who took charge of the team last month.
"I cannot blame my players. Hà Nội were too strong in both attack and defence. We have to forget this match and try harder to stay in the V.League 1 next season," he said.
In the other Wednesday match, Hải Phòng came from behind to beat Became Bình Dương 2-1 to move into second place.
Trương Dũ Đạt opened the score for Bình Dương just seven minutes into the game.
Nguyễn Hải Huy and Rimario Allando Gordon helped Hải Phòng secure a home win.
Despite the loss, coach Lư Đình Tuấn of Bình Dương was still proud of his team. His side were without 12 players due to COVID-19, while the sudden cold in the North caused them some difficulties.
"I am pleased with players' competitiveness and their spirit. They were strong and determined until the last second. This is vital in football," Hải Phòng coach Chu Đình Nghiêm said.
The victory strengthens his players' confidence as they host Hà Nội this Sunday, a six-pointer at the top of the table.
"Playing Hà Nội makes both the players and fans excited. We will be without some key players, but we are in high spirits and have home advantage. I think Hải Phòng have a 50 per cent chance of winning," said Nghiêm, who is a former Hà Nội head coach.
Nghiên believes that with a nine-match winning streak, Hải Phòng should finish in the top three this year. If they beat Hà Nội on Sunday, they could go all the way. VNS