Nam Định make good start, jump to first place

February 09, 2023 - 18:11
Nam Định enjoyed their best V.League 1 start ever with a 1-0 win  against SHB Đà Nẵng on February 8 on away ground.


Vinicius Eberechukwu (right) scores an only goal to help Nam Định win 1-0 over Đà Nẵng on February 8. Photo of Thép Xanh Nam Định

HÀ NỘI — Nam Định enjoyed its best V.League 1 start ever with a 1-0 win against SHB Đà Nẵng on February 8 on away ground.

Nam Định has now won its two first matches of the season, an achievement that it has never done before.

Vinicius Eberechukwu scored the only goal of the match at the 57th minute, helping Nam Định end its 15-year winning drought on Đà Nẵng's field. 

Their last win was a 3-2 score in 2008.

Coach Vũ Hồng Việt, however, was not pleased with the victory that pushed his team to the top place after two games.

“We have always lost at Đà Nẵng. In the previous season, we didn't play well on away ground. It made me worried prior to this game," said Việt. "Today, my new players did pretty well but they need to improve a lot. We need time to work with each other for better combination. The foreigners have been on the team for three days, finding no connection with teammates. They have not yet met my demands."

The 44-year-old was carefully when talking about the title this season.

"We don't need to have a specific target but focus on individual matchs. We go in the game and want to win. We will try to make what we want reality," he said.

In the next match, Nam Định will host former champion Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), which have not won yet.

"We won three points on away ground, so there is no reason that we could not win at home," said Việt who played for Hoàng Anh Gia Lai in 2003 and 2004.

HAGL let victory slip away in additional time when visiting Becamex Bình Dương on February 8.

HAGL's Châu Ngọc Quang and teammates celebrate their goal. Photo of VPF

Châu Ngọc Quang opened the scoring at the 51st minute after a series of attempts against the hosts. They continued dominating the match but wasted many threatening chances.

Rimario Allando levelled 1-1 for Bình Dương in the first minute of additional time, saving his team from a defeat.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, coach Kiatisuk Senamuang hoped supporters will give his young players time to get better this season.

"HAGL is building our style based on 23 and 24-year-old players. Today, they played well in the first half and scored a goal. We created three or four chances but could not score more. We lost our focus in the last five minutes. This is a lesson for them, they have to learn a lot more," said Senamuang. "Facing a strong Bình Dương with national player Nguyễn Tiến Linh and best foreign scorer Rimario, one point is okay."

On the other side, coach Lư Đình Tuấn praised HAGL's current team, saying they played better than the previous famous line-up made up of well-known national players Lương Xuân Trường, Vũ Văn Thanh and Nguyễn Công Phượng who left the team.

Tuấn was disappointed with his team while said none should look down HAGL.

“Football is different from match to match. I am not satisfied with today's result. My forwards did not play well but our players' spirit was good and that helped earn a goal in last minutes," Tuấn said.

Bình Dương will visit Bình Định on Sunday.

Triệu Việt Hưng (right) nets for Hải Phòng in their 1-0 win against HCM City. Photo of VPF

In the last match, Hải Phòng beat HCM City 1-0 even though they had to play far from home.

Triệu Việt Hưng netted the winner at the 39th minute, sealing the first win of the season and pushing the team to second place.

Chu Đình Nghiêm was not happy because of injuries to his two key players, Phạm Mạnh Dũng and Carlos Alfonso. Their absence will weaken the team in the next match when they face arch-rival Sông Lam Nghệ An.

“You can see my team outplayed in the first half. Despite a win, we suffer injuries. My newcomer Xuân Trường still can't play due to his thigh injury and needs up to eight weeks to recover," said Nghiêm. "I really believe in him and his absence in the first matches is regrettable."

On the other side, Vũ Tiến Thành was positive although HCM City lost and is placed second from bottom.

"We played well in the second half but my strikers could not manage the ball and take their opportunities. Hoàng Vũ Samson is older while Alexander Bruce did not show his ability,” said Thành. “Losing two matches is really tough but we still have 11 matches to do our task. We will try best to have three points from Khánh Hòa next match." VNS