Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The first V.League game of the season ended in a draw between Thanh Hóa and Becamex Bình Dương.
Thanh Hóa’s Jamaican striker Rimario Gordon put the home side one goal up on 38 minutes heading home from close range after neat work down the flank.
Gordon, 24, scored seven goals in seven games for Thanh Hóa last season and seems to be continuing his rich vein of form.
Despite taking a first half-lead, Thanh Hóa couldn’t hold on for all three points and a winning start to the season.
On 66 minutes the visitors equalised through Victor Mansaray, capitalising on a mistake in the Thanh Hóa defence.
This was a debut goal for the striker from Sierra Leone who joined Bình Dương from Charleston Battery in the US.
Not only was it a debut goal for the forward, it was also a late birthday present. Earlier this month he turned 21.
At the weekend Bình Dương were beaten in the season curtain raiser, the Super Cup, losing 2-0 to Hà Nội FC.
Determine to avoid a second successive lose, the team from the south managed to hold on and go home with a share of the points.
The home team, although disappointed to let the lead slip, must be grateful for a point against last season’s cup winners.
Injuries forced coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng to field a number of reserves and rookies in this opening match, including Trọng Hùng, Văn Nam and Văn Long.
The rest of the games will be played over the weekend.
Champions Hà Nội start their title defence at home to Than Quảng Ninh, kick off at 7pm.
Meanwhile, the V.League 1 has found a new sponsor to provide support for over the next five years.
Masan Group, one of the largest private companies in Việt Nam in terms of market capitalisation, signed a contract with the Việt Nam Professional Football (VPF) Company, which manages the country’s leagues, on Wednesday in Hà Nội.
Following their deal, the tournament will be called Wake-up 247 V.League 1-2019, as Wake-up 247 is a Masan brand of energy coffee drinks.
The value of the contract was not disclosed but Masan representative Trương Công Thắng confirmed it was not less than the VNĐ40 billion (US$1.724 million) that VPF received from their previous partnership deal last year. The sponsorship, which will be increased yearly, is worth up to hundreds of billions of đồng over the five-year term.
Thắng also said Masan would end the sponsorship deal if cases of match fixing were discovered.
This year there will be 182 matches over 26 rounds with video assistant referee technology applied in some games.
The winning side will pocket VNĐ3 billion and earn the chance to represent Việt Nam in the AFC Champions League. — VNS