STAR PLAYER: Defending champions Hà Nội FC’s midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải vies for the ball with players of HCM City in the 18th round of the V.League 1 yesterday. Photo goal.com
HÀ NỘI Defending champions Hà Nội FC drew 2-2 with HCM City in the 18th round of the V.League 1 yesterday.
The game was held at the Thống Nhất Stadium in HCM City.
As the event’s result will go a long way to determining this year's title winner, both teams were determined to take three points.
Despite playing away, the visiting side controlled the game from the opening whistle, but the hosts were quick to respond.
In the 30th minute, goalie Nguyễn Văn Công made an error with Brazilian striker Huỳnh Kesley Alves of HCM City in the penalty area and Alves didn’t miss this chance to help HCM City take the lead.
After the break, the hosts played with 10 men as Đỗ Văn Thuận got a red card following a tackle against striker Nguyễn Văn Quyết of Hà Nội.
From that point, HCM City were only able to resist the continuous attacks of Hà Nội.
After that, midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải managed to score the equaliser for the capital team.
In the 68th minute, Pape Omar Faye increased the score to 2-1 for Hà Nội.
In injury time, defender Nguyễn Công Thành caused fans at the Thống Nhất Stadium to jump for joy with his goal to level the score.
With this win, HCM City take the lead with 35 points, while Hà Nội are the runners-up with 34 points.
In another game played at the Gò Đậu Stadium in the southern province of Bình Dương, striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh shone to help Bình Dương beat Hải Phòng 2-0.
From the opening whistle, Bình Dương set the pace of the match and they dominated their rivals. However, Nguyễn Anh Đức, Tô Văn Vũ and Wander Luiz Queiroz Dias failed to find the net.
Despite opportunities to take the lead, the first half ended goalless.
After the break, the two sides were neck and neck.
In the 74th minute, from the counter attack in the left wing, Linh headed home to have the opener for Bình Dương.
Several minutes later, it was Linh who pushed the score to 2-0 in favour of the hosts.
Tomorrow, SHB Đà Nẵng will take on Sài Gòn; Nam Định meet Sông Lam Nghệ An; Thanh Hóa face Hoàng Anh Gia Lai; Khánh Hòa fight Quảng Ninh Coal; and rookies Viettel play with former champions Quảng Nam. VNS