Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Newcomers Viettel lost to SHB Đà Nẵng 3-1 in the first round of the V.League 1 yesterday.
Viettel, who won the National First Division and were promoted to the national premier league last year, appeared unconfident against two-time champions Đà Nẵng.
Viettel signed a number of strong players in the transfer period, including midfielder Quế Ngọc Hải, who captained the national U23 team at the AFF Suzuki Cup, Vũ Minh Tuấn and Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng, alongside foreign players Kayo Dias and Joao Paulo. However, their performance was still lacking in experience maturity.
Just 16 minutes in, Victor Nirennold had the home fans at the Hòa Xuân Stadium in Đà Nẵng rocking after scoring the opener.
Captain Hải of Viettel was then sent off for a second yellow card for foul in the area on Đỗ Merlo. Captain Merlo easily beat goalie Quảng Thế Tài to raise the score to 2-0, and he added a third before half time.
Viettel came out stronger in the second half, and they were able to snatch a consolation goal through Paulo in the closing minutes.
In the other games yesterday, Nam Định beat Sài Gòn 3-1, HCM City won Hải Phòng 1-0.
On Saturday, defending champions Hà Nội FC crushed Quảng Ninh Coal 5-0 at the Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội.
Despite playing away, Quảng Ninh looked dangerous in the opening minutes, forcing goalie Nguyễn Văn Công into action.
The hosts then regained control and dominated the game. Receiving a pass from Hoàng Vũ Samson, new recruit Pape Omar Faye beat goalie Huỳnh Tuấn Linh to score the opener for Hà Nội in the 30th minute.
Only 10 minutes later, following nice link-up play between midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải and Samson, striker Nguyễn Văn Quyết doubled the score for the hosts.
After the break, Hà Nội continued to prove their prowess.
Midfielder Phạm Thành Lương played Đỗ Hùng Dũng in to score the third goal for Hà Nội in the 77th minute.
Quảng Ninh’s Nguyễn Văn Việt added to his team’s misery by giving away a penalty which Samson duly dispatched to make it 4-0.
Ganiyu Bolayi Oseni completed the wrought to make it five with a cool header.
At the Nha Trang Stadium, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) beat Khánh Hòa 4-1.
Lâm Ti Phông, Nguyễn Phong Hồng Duy and Chevaughn Walsh scored goals for HAGL, with Walsh bagging two. Khánh Hòa scored their consolation in injury time thanks to Phạm Trùm Tỉnh.
Despite failing to get on the scoresheet, striker Nguyễn Văn Toàn was named man of the match having played a vital part in his team’s goals.
The match saw midfielder Nguyễn Tuấn Anh of HAGL return to compete after a long time out with injury.
Captain Anh was treated in South Korea following an injury in March last year against Hải Phòng in V.League 1. He is considered one of the most technically gifted midfielders Vietnamese football has ever seen. He won the 2014 young player of the year award. He made his V.League 1 debut in 2015 and was voted the team’s best player at the end of the season.
“The opening match is always difficult so HAGL were determined to win. I am very proud of my teammates. We trained hard and put in a lot of effort,” said Anh.
In the other match, Sông Lam Nghệ An beat former champions Quảng Nam 2-0.
“We tried our best but SLNA deserved the win,” said coach Hoàng Văn Phúc of Quảng Nam.
“We are very happy with our first win in the league. We want to thank the fans at the Vinh Stadium for supporting us. After recovering from injury, goalie Trần Nguyên Mạnh performed very well,” said coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng of SLNA.
“This win will be the driving force for us to play with more confidence. I hope SLNA will attract more sponsors to build a strong team. We will compete with all our hearts to gain the best results,” Thắng added. — VNS