REACHING HIGH: Pape Omar Faye of Hà Nội (left) tries to head a ball during the National Cup's semi-final match. Hà Nội won 3-0. Photo VPF
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội FC advanced to the National Cup final after their controversial 3-0 win over HCM City on Sunday at Hàng Đẫy Stadium.
The V.League 1 champions showed off their strength from the first whistle, taking just two minutes to fire off their first shot. Midfielder Đỗ Hùng Dũng broke through HCM City’s defence to send a perfect ball to captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết, whose close-range finish was blocked.
Midfielder Phạm Đức Huy took his chance in the 13th minute but his shot was not strong enough to beat goalkeeper Nguyễn Thanh Thắng.
HCM City answered with attempts by Đỗ Văn Thuận and Trần Phi Sơn. But goalie Phí Minh Long, who has just signed a three-year contract with Hà Nội, parried the shots.
The controversial goal happened in the 35th minute when Nguyễn Văn Dũng collided with keeper Thắng in front of his goal. Pape Omar Faye took the ball and opened the score for the hosts.
HCM City players objected to the decision as they said Dũng brought Thắng down. But referee Nguyễn Đình Thái allowed the goal to stand.
All visiting players left the field in protest. After a few minutes they accepted the decision, returned and continued the game.
Just a minute after the interval, former national player Quyết passed a ball to his young teammate Ngân Văn Đại who made it 2-0 for Hà Nội with a tap-in.
Skipper Quyết scored a goal himself at the 75th minute after a one-two situation with Faye near the box.
It should have been more for Hà Nội if the crossbar did not deny two straight shots by Papa Ibou Kebe.
Hà Nội will play Quảng Nam in the final, searching for the only domestic title they don’t have in their collection.
Quảng Nam came from behind against Becamex Bình Dương after their 2-1 win in an earlier semi-final match on Sunday.
Hà Minh Tuấn and Rodrigo Da Silva Dias shone in the match that they had to play away at Gò Đậu Stadium.
Bình Dương received strong home support but it also piled on the pressure that prevented them from opening attacks throughout the game.
Former V.League champions Quảng Nam dominated most of the first half with Nguyễn Anh Hùng and Hoàng Vũ Samson testing Bình Dương goalkeeper Trần Đức Cường many times but their finishes did not find the net.
It was, however, Bình Dương who opened the score with one of their rare attempts a minute before the break.
A defender opened the attack from the left wing and provided a ball in the box where Wander Luiz just needed an easy touch to score.
A short interval did not help Bình Dương change the situation, they still played in defence under Quảng Nam’s consecutive threatening attempts.
Striker Tuấn stole the ball after a mistake by Bình Dương’s defence and levelled the score with a low finish in the 76th minute.
Eight minutes later Dias jumped high and nodded home the second goal for the visitors.
Bình Dương pushed up the pace of the match but it was too late to overthrow Quảng Nam. VNS