|HCM City FC players and coaches celebrate their National Women's Football Championship victory on October 30 in Hà Nam Province. Photo courtesy of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — HCM City FC won the National Women's Football Championship title for the 11th time on Sunday.
The reigning champions defended their title after beating Phong Phú Hà Nam 3-1 in the last match of the season at the Hà Nam Province Stadium.
They have now won the title four times in a row and seven times in the past eight seasons.
It made them the most successful female club in Việt Nam with 11 trophies, one more than Hà Nội 1 Watabe.
After 12 matches, HCM City secured 30 points to top the table. Hà Nội I Watabe stayed second with 26 points after earning a draw with third-placed Việt Nam Coal and Minerals 0-0 in an earlier game.
This season, HCM played without their best striker Huỳnh Như as she left to play for Lank FC in Portugal. Meanwhile their defender Chương Thị Kiều was side-lined because of injuries. Four key players also moved to other teams.
But their absence was not a big problem with the team who went all season unbeaten, winning nine and drawing three matches. They bagged a bonus of VNĐ300 million (US$12,000) from the Việt Nam Football Federation for the championship title and another VNĐ300 million from the HCM City Football Federation.
HCM City dominated the game from the beginning.
Captain Trần Thị Thuỳ Trang opened the score for in the 15th minute. Thirteen minutes later it was 2-0 after Trần Thị Thu Thảo slotted home from a tight angle past goalkeeper Trần Hải Yến.
Cù Thị Huỳnh Như made it 3-0 on 35 minutes to help HCM City take their feet off the gas after the break.
In the second half, Phong Phú Hà Nam stepped up and created more attacks. Their efforts brought a consolation goal in the 61st minute by Tạ Thị Thuỷ with a long straight finish.
In addition to prizes for the top three teams, organisers also presented awards for individual players. Vũ Thị Hoa of Hà Nội I Watabe was the top scorer with nine goals. Her teammate Đào Thị Kiều Oanh was the best goalkeeper. Captain Trang of HCM City was the most valuable player of the tournament.
|Coach Đoàn Thị Kim Chi of HCM City poses with her seventh national trophy as a manager. Photo courtesy of Quốc An|
Coach Đoàn Thị Kim Chi of HCM City has become the most successful manager in women's football. She has won seven titles with the team which she also spent her entire playing career.
"I am really happy with the win but a little surprised. I did not think HCM City could win this year," said Chi.
"We faced many difficulties when skipper Như was away and defender Kiều was injured. Our strength and tactics were strongly affected. Honestly, we were weaker but our rivals were not stronger. We worked really hard and were united to overcome challenges.
"There were matches that we did not play well, wasting threatening chances. But when we were in trouble, our veterans like Trang and midfielder Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy knew how to shine and solved problems.” VNS